James Rollo Macrossen Nicoll

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: September 1915
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: J/44755
  • Rank: Boy Telegraphist
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M. Submarine G-9
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at Sea
  • Age at Death: 17
  • Date of Death: 16.09.1917
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Plymouth Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: 22

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 20.02.1900
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 3 Garry Pl, Hawkhill, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Margaret Robertson Nicoll

  • Father:

    Captain William Nicoll

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about James Rollo Macrossen Nicoll

James R M Nicoll was the son of Captain William and Mrs Margaret Robertson Nicoll, Dundee. Nephew of Mrs Tough, 3 Garry Place, Hawkhill. He volunteered to join the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class in September 1915 and trained at HMS Ganges, a shore training establishment near Shotley in Suffolk. In January 1917 he was drafted to HMS Victory, the Naval Barracks in Portsmouth and volunteered for the Submarine Service. He trained at HMS Dolphin at Gosport and was drafted to HM Submarine G9 based on the Depot Ship HMS Lucia on the River Tees in July. James Nicoll died when the his submarine was rammed by the destroyer HMS Pasley after G9 had fired two torpedoes at her in poor light and bad weather in the belief the Pasley was a German vessel. Five crew escaped the sinking but only one survived to be picked up by the Pasley. James Nicoll is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial on Plymouth Hoe in Devon.

H.M.S. G-9 was a G Class Submarine, one of eight Royal Navy Subs known to have been lost to friendly fire during WW1.

In a tragic story of friendly fire, James along with all but one of his fellow crew members died when G9 was sunk by the destroyer HMS “Pasley” in foul weather on the night of 16 September 1917. G9 had mistaken Pasley for a U-boat and fired two torpedoes at her. The first struck Pasley on her starboard quarter, but too acutely to detonate; the second passed astern. On seeing the submarine’s wash, Pasley’s officer of the watch, Midshipman Frank Wallis, RNR, turned hard to starboard and rammed G9 just aft of amidships all but cutting her in two, and she sank in less than a minute. Just Stoker William Drake survived the incident. Read the full story on Wikipedia…

Information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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