21st Division 1914-18...a divisional history

Brigadier-General N T Nickalls


Born April 1864….died September 26th 1915.
Educated at Eton College, Norman Nickalls originally a militia officer, passed into a cavalry regiment, the 17th Lancers on 11th August 1886. This was not by any means an unusual process and many officers did this at this time.

He saw service in South Africa. But his service record is unremarkable. The out break of the war saw him in charge of the York brigade of Mounted Infantry. Command of 63rd brigade, 21st division and promotion to Brigadier General followed on the 31st august 1915. He was 51 an advanced age for a Brigade Commander in war but this was 1915 and the 21st division was a K3 New Army formation and many were called to serve.

His command was short lived as he took the brigade into the cauldron of Loos on 25th September. The Brigade diary states that an officer of the West Yorks, Major Bulloch, saw a shell hit near or directly where Nickalls was near the Chalk Pit the next day on the 26th . His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Loos memorial to the missing.