Private Robert Nichol

Private Robert Nichol, 3rd Battalion ( Toronto Regiment ), Canadian Infantry. He was killed in action aged 32, in Belgium on the 7th November 1917 during the Battle of Third Ypres. He had been born in Selkirk in 1884 and was the son of James and Mary Nichol of 94 Mill Street, Selkirk and the husband of Agnes Nichol of Hamilton, Ontario whom he had married in Selkirk in 1907. He had his own hair dressing business in Selkirk before emigrating to Canada in 1912. He had originally enlisted in the 120th Battalion but once in France it was broken up to provide reinforcements for other Canadian Units. In May 1917 he was posted to the 3rd Battalion in France. He fell at the end of the Battle when Canadian forces finally captured the Passchendaele Ridge after ferocious fighting in the dreadful conditions. Between 5th and 8th November the Battalion lost 240 casualties of which 87 were either killed or missing, including 8 Officers killed. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. The photos show the atrocious battlefield conditions where the incessant shelling had destroyed the fragile Flanders drainage systems.

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