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Henry Nicholas VC medal returned to display


22 October 2008

(1 Page)

Henry Nicholas VC medal returned to display

The Victoria Cross awarded to Henry James Nicholas of Christchurch during the first World War will be returned to display in Canterbury Museum on 23 October. The original medal was removed from display and replaced with a replica in December last year following the theft of medals from Waiouru Army Museum.

October 23, 2008 was chosen as a significant date to reinstate the medal as it marks the 90th anniversary of Henry Nicholas’ death in France. His company had been involved in the fight for the bridgeheads at the River Ecaillon near the village of Beaudignies on 23 October 1918, and had been under heavy machine gun fire from the high ground east of Le Quesnoy. Nicholas was hit by a stray bullet while returning to camp – he was the only one killed. Nicholas was buried on 29 October 1918 by the Bishop of Nelson at Vertigneul Churchyard, Romeries.

Henry James Nicholas is commemorated in Christchurch with a statue near the Bridge of Remembrance, erected in March 2007, as well as on a headstone in the Bromley cemetery plot that is shared by his mother and two brothers.

The Victoria Cross and Nicholas’ other medals can be seen on display in the Mountfort Gallery at Canterbury Museum. General admission to the Museum is free; donations are appreciated. Canterbury Museum is located on Rolleston Avenue, in the Cultural Precinct, next to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and opposite The Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard.


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