COLOUR-SGT WILLIAM NICHOL
The Grenadier Company of the 1st Battalion.
THE 8th (OR KING’S) REGIMENT OF FOOT.
Researched by Bill Ricalton LLHS
This short account of the life and adventures of William Nichol is significant in that it relates to a man of humble beginnings, educated at Longhorsley village school two hundred years ago. How many people from such a background could read or write at that time? William was educated to a standard that allowed him to write an account of his career in the army at the time of Napoleon. Let us start with William’s own written words.
“ A small account of the life of Wm. Nichol of the 8th or Kings Regt. of Foot Zante 9th January 1822.”
“I was born as I was told by my parents on the 7th November 1784 of honest parents in the Parish of Longhorsley and County of Northumberland but as for my childish years I shall pass them over in silence for I can say nothing about them myself and I am at present at so great a distance from my mother the only person at present alive that could give me any information concerning them.”
“1790 this was the year I recollect of being put to school being then better than 6 years of age. My masters name was James Ramsay, he was schoolmaster and likewise clerk of the church, he was a man of numerous family. The school was in the same village my parents lived. I remained for upwards of 3 years and then, times being very hard and my parents family increasing. I was taken from it always in winter and then sent to some of the neighbouring farmers for to drive the plough on purpose to both support the family to which I belonged and then in summers I was put to school again until such times as I had learned to wright and work the simple rules of arithmetic and then I being very stout of my age and my father began to stricken in years he put me upon trial to one Robert Wilson of Longhorsley to learn to be Wheelwright and Carpenter but unfortuneatley for me as well as the rest of my brothers and sisters and likewise my mother he was killed by a stage waggon in the month of November 1796 in which situation he had been employed for upwards of 19 years always living in the one family that was Mr Thos Howey of Wooler Bridge End and County of Northumberland I not being bound apprentice at the time my father was killed his old master being good enough to take me and I was bound apprentice to him for by him keeping me it always left my mother one less to support."
In 1800 Wm. Nichol’s employer Thos Howey gave up the wagon horses because they “Got distemper and he could not get them cured.” Wm. was then given the choice of 3 masters and he chose John Davey of Wooler with whom he served the last three years of his apprenticeship, for which he was paid £20.
It was also in 1800 when England was threatened with invasion by Napoleon that William had his first experience of military life, he joined the Cheviot Legion at Wooler and remained with them all the time he was apprenticed.
“I served my full time with John Davey and sometime in June I took up my indentures and we had what we called an outing the same evening that all the journeymen an prentices go to one of the Inns and take a large room and then gets a fiddler and invites any of their female acqaintenances they may think proper and there is plenty to drink and plenty of dancing the whole of the night, it is a thing kepet up by the prentices of the Town of the same trade. It was in the year 1803 that I got my indentures”.
In 1803 he volunteered for the army and joined at Alnwick. He was described at the time as being 6ft 3 1/2 inches tall, brown hair, hazel eyes, and fresh complexion. He gathered his tools and sent them back to his mother in Longhorsley where she kept them for over twenty years until William returned from military service. In 1804 he was attached to the 61st Regiment when they marched to Durham. William stayed at the Plough Inn in Bondgate Street Alnwick, the Blue Bell in Morpeth then at the Black Horse in Pilgrim Street Newcastle before arriving in Durham where he was billeted at the Head and Horns in Frameygate Street Eventually they moved to barracks in Sunderland before marching to Berwick.
“The route came for us to march to Berwick upon Tweed our first days march was to Newcastle upon Tyne about 15 miles I was billeted at the sign of the Marquis of Granby in the Castle Garth a place of very bad fame as I have been informed since, but I was young and had a deal of the Country Clown about me so I did not take so much notice of these things as I would do now.
We marched to Morpeth next day about 15 miles we had very dirty roads and bad weather. In this town I was billeted at the sign of the Beehive in the main street. This being Saturday we expected to halt all Sunday but was mistaken for we had to march nearly 20 miles the next day to Alnwick and it was a very wet day and my mother met me at a small village called Felton which was nearly half way. We halted there sometime and got a refreshment of something to eat and drink to enable us to travel the remainder of the day’s stage. I was then only 4 miles distance from my native place or birth of my nativity. It was late in the evening when we arrived in Alnwick and, before we got there, there was some of the Lanarkshire Militia on their march into England and both divisions met at Alnwick I was both wet and tired and I was billeted at the sign of the Black Swan in the main street. Marched next morning for Belford, the distance about 14 miles but it is but a small place.”
The next day they marched to Berwick. William described Berwick as a small town that is walled around with several bastions and ‘motes’. He mentions a battery facing the mouth of the harbour mounting about twenty or thirty guns and with some mortars behind. He tells of a small barracks for about five hundred men. There were he wrote, “commonly some invalids in the town and some invalids belonging to the Royal Artillery.”
“It is a very regular built town several very wide streets in it, and good shops. It carries on a great trade in salmon fishing in the River Tweed and the white fishery besides. The salmon are commonly packed up in barrels or cases with ice and sent in smacks to the London market for there is hardly a day passes but there some of them sails for London.” (It might appear strange that in 1804 they had the facilities to provide ice to preserve fish during the journey to London. However there is an old ‘ice cave’ near Paxton on the Tweed where they stored ice gathered from the frozen river in winter, it remained solid until summer. It is now a tourist attraction. (Ed.)
After a period in Berwick, where many of the men married local girls, William signed up for general service, for which he was paid the then handsome bounty of £7 -12 -6 and with his colleagues, he marches away to the wars. His officer allows him to go via Wooler and Longhorsley.
“It being the last time I thought of seeing Wooler for many years and likewise to bid farewell to all my old acqaintainces and then I was to join the division in Morpeth about 32 miles distance. I remained there one night and left the next morning with a heavy heart not knowing if ever would see them or place anymore for god only knows our future destiny. It is him who is the disposer of all our lives. I arrived that evening at mother it being 25 miles distance so that it was a good day’s march for me, being only a young soldier. I remained with her all that night and until the next afternoon and she went with me as far as Morpeth, a place where the division was to halt all night and it was there I promised the Capt. commanding the detachment that I would meet him and I did so. So that evening I parted with my mother and sorry I was for it was upwards of 11 years before I could see her again or any I believe belonging to me.”
The Regiment left North Shields on a transport brig called the ‘Arm of London’ bound for Gravesend on the River Thames. They disembarked on the 21st of September and marched first to Maidstone. They arrived at Pevensey Barracks near Battle Sussex on the 25th of September 1804. There William was to begin an intensive period of training with drill twice every day and several brigade field days.
After a spell at Colchester Essex, the regiment left for London and on the 10th of May 1805, they were inspected by King George lll in Hyde Park. From London, they moved to Portsmouth to await ships to sail to Cork in Ireland where after a short stay they returned to Portsmouth.
“We lay only about 24 hours at Spithead, we got a fresh convoy, a brig of war, and then sailed for the Downs. We had a very pleasant passage. We arrived there some part of the next day there to join an expedition fitting out to go to Hanover on purpose to go against the French that was in the country at that time. There was about 36,000 infantry besides artillery and cavalry. The day we lay at anchor in Spithead we saw the Victory man of War pass with the body of Admiral Lord Nelson on board for it was shortly after the battle of Trafalgar. Some of the vessels lying in Spithead had come home to be repaired after the action. While we lay in the Downs we saw the Victory again. She was going round to the move to leave the body of Lord Nelson. She had up a jury mizzen top mast. She was a 3 decker and all checker sides which made her look very well.”
In early December William Nichol left with the rest of his regiment in a convoy of 64 ships bound for the River Wezer eventually arriving off the island of Heligoland on 25th December 1805 by this time there were, “near 100 sail of transports.” In the afternoon a great storm blew up and many of the ships were wrecked, William landed at Cuxhaven on the 28th of December. When he landed the snow was near ‘mid-leg’ deep. While waiting for all the men to disembark the soldiers had a good glass of local gin bought for one penny per glass.
William was intrigued by the women of the area who he said had very large backsides caused by wearing so many petticoats in winter. He also mentions that the women when sitting in their house had a ‘thing’ filled with turf ashes called a ceenisey (sic) which they put in their petticoats to keep their bottom warm when spinning or sewing.
Severe cold weather made conditions for the soldiers extremely difficult. Marching in the dark along the top of the dykes frequently resulted in soldiers falling into the frozen water. When their guide ran off and left them, conditions became even worse, on one night three men froze to death. They eventually arrived at a place where the local people looked after them particularly well each was given a good glass of gin a warm supper and a good bed. “we had a feather bed below and another above. We only had a pair of sheets that were the only bedclothes there was on the bed. We slept very warm in them particularly after being so long without beds to sleep in.”
“The Brigade we belonged to was under the command of Maj. Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley. (later to become the Duke of Wellington (Ed.) ) He stopped in the same village where our headquarters was other Regts. was quartered in the villages nearest to them.”
After the surrender of Copenhagen by Napoleons’ troops, the Grenadier Company’s of each Regiment (Wm. was in the Grenadier Co. of the 8th) marched into the citadel to take possession. The victorious British troops were very impressed by the beauty of the city. Many war vessels and enormous quantities of naval stores were taken aboard ship for transport back to England. Napoleon was reported to be furious.
The 8th Regiment of Foot returned to England in early February 1808 and after a time in barracks at Hastings, the Regiment sailed with a fleet for Nova Scotia via Bermuda. The fleet ran into a severe snowstorm as they approached Halifax and were almost wrecked. Halifax was reached fifty-five days after leaving Portsmouth. Rum on the ship cost 6d for half a pint consequently there had been much drunkenness among the troops during the journey.
In January 1809, after a rest in Barbados, an expedition sailed for Martinique. The force included one regiment composed of seven-hundred and ninety-seven negro slaves who had escaped and been given their freedom by the British. The 8th Regiment of Foot, part of the expedition, had a most arduous march across the Island through tropical forests before a successful assault on Fort Desais against French regular troops. During the approach march, William and another soldier fell into a lime kiln and they suffered bad burns to the legs. Those injuries were to trouble him into old age. The assault on Fort Desais resulted in the capture of the French colours which were the first to be brought back to England in the Napoleonic Wars. The Regiment, after the action on Martinique, returned to Halifax Nova Scotia.
The American War of 1812-14
During Britain’s war with Napoleon, the American mercantile fleet was made rich by conveying supplies to France. It became necessary for the British navy to halt this traffic, whereupon America declared war. The measure was approved in the Senate by only a small majority and American forces invaded Canada. There were only six thousand Regular Troops to defend a frontier of two-thousand miles. It is to those few soldiers, outnumbered and ill-equipped, we owe the Dominion of Canada. One of the best of the regiments was the 8th of Foot, largely comprised of Northumbrians. Both sides employed auxiliary forces of Red Indians who killed their prisoners and scalped the dead and wounded and were hated by other combatants. In addition to the rigours of the winters, the troops suffered terribly from malaria, dysentery, pneumonia and other ailments.
In 1813 the Eighth of Foot moved one-hundred and fifty miles from Kingston to York (Toronto). An American force of seventeen-hundred men landed west of the town on April 22nd. They were opposed by the Grenadier Company of the Eighth, numbering twenty NCO’s and one-hundred and five Other Ranks, including Private William Nichol. The Grenadiers lost thirty killed, nineteen wounded and taken prisoner. About one-hundred friendly Red Indians took part in the fight but were dispersed by the cannons on American ships. The Captain of the Grenadier was killed with his men and the British were forced to retreat. As they left the British blew up the magazine, killing the American General and forty of his men besides wounding over two-hundred others in the process.
Fort St George was situated near the mouth of the Niagara River where it flows into Lake Ontario. On the 27th May 1813, the fort was held by the British including William Nichol’s Regiment. On the opposite side of the river was Fort Niagara held by the Americans. The Americans landed about four or five-thousand men during heavy fog then bombarded the British from Fort Niagara. An American gunner died at his gun and his place was taken by his wife, the American heroine of the War of 1812, Fanny Doyle, who continued to pour red-hot cannonballs onto William Nichol’s regiment across the river. Again the British were forced to retreat but not before they had destroyed what was left of Fort St George. The British had three-hundred and fifty-two killed or wounded of which the Eighth of Foot lost two-hundred and ten men. The British retreated into the Indian Lands of the Mohawk and the Iroquois before finally going to Burlington.
On the 6th and 7th, June 1813 two important battles took place at Stoney Creek and Forty Mile Creek. Here the Americans attacked again but this time they were routed. The 8th of Foot fought in both of these engagements which were decisive in saving Canada. These were encounters of great ferocity, and though British losses exceeded those of the Americans, the latter were demoralised and retreated right back to Fort St George.
Another attempt against the British was mounted on June 23rd. American officers planning this action in Queenstown were overheard by the Canadian Heroine of the War of 1812, Laura Secord. (William Nichol was later stationed in her village and would certainly know her) Laura, who was 38 years of age and of slender build, made her way through the American lines and over twenty miles of wild uninhabited country to warn the British outpost of Beaver Dams. The American force of five-hundred and forty men were harassed by hundreds of Indians meanwhile the Eighth of Foot moved into position behind them to cut off their retreat. To save bloody massacres by Indians the Americans surrendered, with much booty going to the ‘savages.’
During the months of July and August, erratic fighting occurred which hemmed American forces in Fort St George. In December the Fort was recaptured by the British who then made a rapid attack on Fort Niagara capturing that too.
On December the 29th came a remarkable operation in bitter weather and deep snow in which the Grenadier Company of the Eighth played an important part. They crossed the Niagara River in boats and burnt the town of Black Rock accompanied by four-hundred Red Indians commanded by the famous frontiersman, Matthew Elliot. Matthew who was then over seventy years of age had several Indian wives and had already lost his farm and eldest son in the war. In spite of his great authority, however, he was unable to prevent his Indians from wreaking dreadful carnage on the local population. The British swept along the riverside, attacked Buffalo, and burnt it to the ground. Boats for this operation were dragged on sleighs around Niagara Falls. None of the soldiers had fur hats and most had no greatcoats to keep out the bitter cold.
From January to April 1814 the Regiment was stationed in Fort Niagara and Queenstown. During this period the condition of the British Army deteriorated. General Riall said, “The men are sick of the place, tired and disgusted with constant labour to which they see no end.” In April, Napoleon abdicated after Wellingtons’ victories in the Peninsular.
In March Private William Nichol was stationed at Chippawa near Niagara falls he was there until June. The Eighth of Foot was plagued with illness all this period, worn out with fever, ague and exposure. On June 25th the Eighth was ordered to York to regain their strength. No sooner had they reached their resting place than a great American invasion burst upon the Niagara Frontier. A newly trained and formidable American Army crossed the Niagara River from Buffalo on July 2nd, captured Fort Erie and advanced into Canada.
The Chippawa River runs across a flat area about a mile from the falls and is one-hundred and fifty yards wide, spanned by a single bridge. With this bridge behind them, Gen. Riall and the depleted British Army faced four-thousand Americans with a lot of artillery and six-thousand Indians from the Six Nations tribe of New York State. The Eighth of Foot, eighty miles away, were hurried back from York. They crossed the thirty-mile water of Lake Ontario and continued on by forced march to Chippawa. It says much for these men that all who were sick in the hospital volunteered to return to the battle.
The battle opened on July 5th when the two forces advanced towards each other, halting and firing till they were only seventy yards apart. The Eighth of Foot was in the second line and the view, which William would have had, of the advancing enemy is perpetuated in a historic painting seen in the US Military Academy. The Royal Scots of the 100th Regiment melted away under the intense fire. Gen. Riall had to retreat. The Eighth of Foot took up positions in front of the bridge and held back the enemy while the remainder of the British force left the field. They had lost five-hundred men, the Americans three-hundred. It is probable that it was in this action that William Nichol was wounded, certainly, he was in the hospital afterward and Lt. Hill refers to it in a testimonial he gave him in 1825.
Boats full of wounded began to arrive in York at 9 pm on the 9th of July where it was said, “Every house has become a hospital.” The American Indians pressed the retreating British, scalping the dead and wounded. They demanded payment from General Porter for the scalps, he refused so they left the battle and went home. The Eighth continued sporadic fighting in and around Fort George. By July 24th they had lost eight NCO’s and one-hundred and twenty-four Other Ranks were either killed or taken prisoner.
On July 25th, 1814 a small British fleet arrived in Lake Ontario which changed the whole situation and Gen. Riall was able to take the offensive once more. He moved to Lundy’s Lane, near Chippawa and a fierce action ensued. Although some companies of the 8th were involved William missed the battle still being in the hospital in York. Fighting continued all night, much of it with the bayonet. The losses were evenly balanced; British 882, Americans 854, killed, wounded and missing. Sgt Commins of the Eighth in a letter said that the Indians returned to the battlefield in the morning to plunder. The 8th had built a large fire to cook their breakfast. One Indian came upon a severely wounded American officer and attempted to cut his boots off. He failed and threw the officer on the fire. This enraged the British soldiers and one of them picked up his musket, shot the Indian and threw him on the fire. Commins said that the piles of dead men and horses made a shocking spectacle in the morning light. The American Army dumped its baggage in the rapids and retreated into Fort Erie.
Fort Erie was located on the shore of the lake of that name, not far from the point where the Niagara River flows outward from the lake. It was quickly strengthened by the American Army and was their last foothold on Canadian soil.
The Eighth was in action on the Aug. 12th against an American patrol but, on Aug. 15th the British mounted a major attack when the newly arrived De Watterville’s Regiment was involved. This Polish and German mercenary's column was stiffened by companies of the 8th and directed against the Snake Hill Battery. Musketry and cannon fire poured upon the attackers, De Watterville’s broke and the attack failed. British lost three-hundred and nine wounded and five-hundred and thirty-nine missing, most of whom were dead. Now began a period of great hardship and suffering for the troops. The British camp was two miles away in a forest clearing, the rainy season was at hand the ground was a swamp, there were no tents or huts. A naval blockade prevented supplies reaching them and sickness increased alarmingly. While this was taking place, on August 24th the British landed on the east coast of America and burnt the President’s House and major buildings. After repair and painting, it became “The White House.”
The second battle of Fort Erie took place on September the 17th 1814. The British had continued to build heavy batteries to reduce the fort and the Americans made a sortie in force which produced a fierce encounter. They succeeded in spiking some of the guns but lost seventy-nine killed and four-hundred and thirty-two wounded and missing. British losses were heavier, one-hundred and fifteen killed and four-hundred and ninety-four wounded or missing. The Americans retired into the Fort. It was to be the last action of the Canadian War in which the 8th took part. William Nichol fought in both of these actions. On September 21st General Drummond wrote of his troops, “Their situation has become one of extreme wretchedness. Torrents of rain have continued to fall for the last thirteen days.” He then gave the order to retire. Of the 8th of Foot, one-hundred and seven men were in the Regimental Hospital, twenty-seven were discharged, one-hundred and eighty-five were prisoners in the hands of the Americans. Of the Grenadier Coy. in which William served, the effective strength of NCO’s and men was down to forty, of whom six were released prisoners of war on parole. Normal strength was about one-hundred and ten. Pay of a private soldier was sixpence per day and seven pence with long service and that of a sergeant one shilling and four-pence per day.
On October 15th the American General Izard received large reinforcements and advanced once more into Canada but the British were in a strong position at Chippawa and he found them too strong to attack. They retired from Canada, blew up Fort Erie and went into winter quarters. Meanwhile, the Eighth had been withdrawn to La Prairie, near Montreal, leaving Private Nichol in the hospital until late November.
While stationed in Montreal William was promoted to Corporal on January 14th, 1815. He had been a sergeant as long ago as 1808 but had been reduced to the ranks for being drunk on duty, a not uncommon occurrence in those times, especially in Halifax Nova Scotia. Peace was declared with the Americans on February 17th, 1815 and on Mar 25th William was once more promoted to Sergeant.
The war of 1812-14 was unpopular both in Britain and the United States, full of contrasts. British soldiers in red coats and full equipment fought, both with and against, Red Indians in loincloths, painted half-white and half-black, or half-red and half-black. They were armed with bows and arrows, tomahawks and scalping knives. Some Canadian militia spoke only French, though dressed in British red coats and fought with Americans who spoke only English though dressed in French blue-coats supplied by Napoleon. American backwoodsmen fought in deerskin coats and Davy Crockett hats. American regulars later had to wear un-dyed grey uniforms of wool. Escaped Negro slaves fled to Canada and fought for the British, while in the south, Creoles and Bartarian pirates fought for the Americans.
Through the trackless wilderness, transport was by ox wagon or pack mules. Beef for the British Army was supplied by American drovers bringing their cattle into Canada by smuggler’s routes. Deserters from the British army were shot; rogues sent to the Fleet for punishment; Irish traitors terrorised the families of Canadians serving in the armed forces; they were hanged.
Troops faced frostbite in the severe winters (often without greatcoats), frozen rivers, four feet of snow. Wolves and Black Bears abounded and in the swamp areas by the Niagara, in summer, mosquitoes, and flies. John Douglas Assistant surgeon to the 8th Regiment of Foot wrote:
“obstructed by the falling snow, and the drifted state of this in the woods rendered it hazardous to prosecute the journey. The faces of the men were often frost-bitten when much exposed to the northwind. Sometimes, indeed, the tear was no sooner secreted from the eye, than it congealed into an icicle upon the eyelashes, so as to restrain their motion... The night, too, proved more uncomfortable than the day. though the men were stretched before the fire, the intenseness of the cold was severely felt. The toils of the day were not always followed by the reflection of sleep. Its return seemed to be prevented by a certain degree of cold, and a deficiency of covering...Men who were in a state of intoxication, perished in a few instances from the severity of the winter’s cold.”
Generals and other high-ranking officers on both sides died at the head of their men. In all this, the women and children of the regiment followed their men, though often grouped in base camps for safety. The 8th retained a schoolmaster throughout the war.
On June 25th, 1815 the 1st Battalion of the 8th Regiment of Foot embarked on the “Susannah” at Quebec, six-hundred and thirty-one officers and men, sixty-eight women and eighty-one children.
The “Susannah” arrived at Portsmouth on July 18th. The Battalion was based at Windsor while Sergeant Nichol had leave, he returned home to Longhorsley to see his mother. He had left her in the Market Place at Morpeth “With a heavy heart” as he marched away to the wars eleven years earlier.
In 1816 the 1st Battalion moved to Cork in Ireland where they amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion. The Regiment moved to Malta for a year then on January 19th, 1819 they arrived in Corfu in the Ionian Islands at that time occupied by the British. Corfu was considered the best of all overseas stations and they remained in the islands until 1824. William Nichol’s stay in Corfu was not without incident though.
Three company’s of the regiment attacked the Greek rebels in Santa Maura in October 1819. In 1821 a Greek revolt against the Turks began on mainland Greece but the British remained neutral. Later in 1821, an Algerian warship of the Turkish Navy ran aground on the Island of Zante where the Eighth of Foot was stationed. Troops were dispatched to take the crew into ‘quarantine’ but were attacked by the local Greeks. The Regiment disarmed the population and some executions followed and the bodies were hung on gibbets.
The Regiment embarked at Argostoli in Cephalonia on the 27th of May 1824 and returned to Portsmouth arriving there on the 3rd of August. On November 7th of that year, it was Williams’ 40th birthday and on the 3rd of April 1825, William completed twenty-one years with the Eighth Regiment of Foot and left the army. On June 30th he was accepted as a Chelsea pensioner (Out-Patient) and received one shilling and ten pence per day.
Thus ended William Nichol's army career, a career that had, over twenty-one years, transported him from his Longhorsley home across oceans and seas to lands where he had suffered to the limits of human endurance. He had experienced violent storms while at sea yet wrote of his fortune in never, unlike most of his colleagues, to have been seasick. He took part in savage encounters while suffering the extremes of the North American winter. William Nichol had not only witnessed history but through times of utmost danger, he helped to mold it. The end of his army career was not the end of his traveling or adventures. He returned to Corfu and was appointed as a Master-Cartwright by the Ionian Government. He was to remain in Corfu for ten years and it was there that he married Augusta Eleanor Healey a Middlesex girl who was the Governess to an officer’s family.
Together they raised a family and had three daughters and a son. In 1844 aged sixty William retired from his work in Corfu and returned to Longhorsley. The return journey was to involve him in more adventure. The ship in which they returned called at an Albanian port. His daughters who had been warned not to leave the ship did and were surrounded by local bandits. They were only rescued when their father and some of the ship's crew arrived with drawn cutlasses.
Back in Longhorsley William Nichol set up in business as a wheelwright where he first started to learn his trade as an apprentice to Robert Wilson many years earlier. So ended a long career of service and adventure, service that was recognised by many.
General Sir Frederick Adam His Majesty’s High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands presenting him with a testimonial said, “He had known him as an excellent Non-Commissioned officer, a most honest and respectable man.” (General Adams was one of Wellington’s Generals at the Battle of Waterloo (Ed.) ) Four officers of his regiment wrote in similar terms and one a Captain Ross presented him with a tobacco box.
William Nichol was presented with the Military General Service Medal (1798-1814) with a bar for Martinique. Of the nine-hundred and ninety-eight men entitled to receive it, only one-hundred and thirteen survived.
William Nichol late Colour Sergeant of the Grenadier Company The 8th (Or King’s) Regiment of Foot died on November the 20th 1868 at Longhorsley aged eighty-four years and was laid to rest in Longhorsley churchyard.
William Nichol’s medals and tunic and other personal and original documents can be seen in the Regimental Museum of The King’s Regiment in Liverpool.