Benjamin Nicol

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: 1912
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Clyde 2/164
  • Rank: Petty Officer
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Hood Battalion, R.N.Div
  • Place of Death: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Age at Death: 23
  • Date of Death: 06.06.1915
  • Burial Country: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Cemetery: Helles Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 8 to 15

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 11.09.1892
  • Place of Birth: Dundee
  • Address: 63 Victoria Road, Dundee
  • Occupation: Shoemaker
  • Mother:

    Christina Nicol

  • Father:

    James Nicol, 63 Victoria Rd, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    William, John, Maggie & Agnes

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Benjamin Nicol

Ben has no known grave but is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

Benjamin Nicol   Petty Officer   C2-164   Hood Bn   R.N.D.


A letter from the Admiralty to his aged mother in Dundee conveys the sad intelligence that Petty Officer Ben Nicol had been killed in action at the Dardanelles.  Petty Officer Nicol was well known in Broughty Ferry, where he carried on a boot and shoe business in King Street.  Three years ago he joined the Volunteer Naval Reserve, and was at Antwerp with the Hood Battalion.  After further training at Devonport he went with the battalion to the Dardanelles, and in a letter home recently he told of three narrow escapes he had had in the trenches at Gallipoli Peninsula.  He was shot through the cap, and later a bullet went through his tunic, and the third experience was when he was about to lift a tankard to his mouth to drink, the tankard was clean shot out of his hand.  The fourth, apparently, has proved fatal.  He was only 22 years of age, and was very popular in Broughty Ferry.

Broughty Ferry Guide 25th June 1915

NICOL—Killed in action at the Dardanelles, on 6th June, Petty Officer Benjamin Nicol, Royal Naval Division, youngest son of Mr and Mrs James Nicol 63 Victoria Road.

Dundee People’s Journal 26th June 1915

Family Background:

Ben`s father, James, was a shoemaker and the family lived at 7 Ireland`s Lane and then 63 Victoria Road,Dundee. Ben opened his own boot & shoemaker`s business at King Street, Broughty Ferry early in 1914 and was due to be married when war broke out.

Service History:

Ben joined the RNVR in 1912 and saw service with the Hood Battalion at Antwerp in 1914. He was the promoted to Petty Officer and after training at Devonport, went with the Battalion to the Dardanelles in 1915. He had three narrow escapes, being shot through the tunic, cap and whilst holding a tankard, but was killed in action at the 3rd Battle of Krithia. He was buried at the Battalion Rest Camp,150 yards south west of the 1st Pillar on the Krithia Road but his body was not found after the war.

NICOL—Killed in action at the Dardanelles, on 6th June, Petty Officer Benjamin Nicol, Royal Naval Division, youngest son of Mr and Mrs James Nicol 63 Victoria Road.

Dundee People’s Journal 26th June 1915

Benjamin Nicol was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs James Nicol, Shoemaker of 63 Victoria Road, Dundee. By trade he was a shoe and boot maker and had his own business in King Street, Broughty Ferry before the war. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn in 1912. After the outbreak of war in August 1914 he spent a short period onboard HMS Unicorn before he was drafted to the Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division (RND) which was being formed at Betteshanger Camp, near Deal in Kent. In October the Battalion was ordered to march to Dover where the Naval Brigades embarked for Dunkirk. From there they were taken by train to the outskirts of Antwerp in Belgium to help defend the city from the advancing German Army. After two days the entire RND was ordered to withdraw and the Hood Battalion marched south to escape the encircling Germans. The Hood Battalion re-embarked at Ostende having lost some men as Prisoners of War. The Battalion moved to Portsmouth and then to Blandford Camp in Dorset and continued training as infantry. At the end of February 1915 orders came to embark for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Battalion landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in late April. They went into action soon afterwards in the Second Battle of Krithia, an attack which failed to break through the Turkish trenches. The next month was spent in the front lines and in reserve. In early June the Battalion was in the first wave of the attack in the Third Battle of Krithia which failed with heavy casualties. Benjamin Nicol was killed in action during the assault. In a letter to his parents he had told of three lucky escapes from Turkish bullets. He was buried by the Reverend H C Foster near the Battalion Rest Camp but his body was not found after the war and Benjamin Nicol is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. He was survived by sisters.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell and Hugh Macrae, Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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