James Herschel NICHOLLS

NICHOLLS, James Herschel

Service Number: SX33397
Enlisted: 1 February 1944, Wayville, SA
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Crystal Brook, South Australia, 28 March 1919
Home Town: Crystal Brook, Port Pirie City and Dists, South Australia
Schooling: University of Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: South Australia, 7 July 2018, aged 99 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Crystal Brook District WW2 Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

1 Feb 1944: Involvement Captain, SN SX33397
1 Feb 1944: Enlisted Wayville, SA
23 Jan 1947: Discharged
Date unknown: Involvement

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Biography contributed by Annette Summers

NICHOLLS James Herschel MB BS

1919 - 2018

James Herschel Nicholls was born on 28th March 1919, in Crystal Brook, South Australia. His parents were Willian Franklin Nicholls of Crystal Brook and Lillian Estella, nee Thorn. He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide graduating MB BS in 1942. He married Dr Margaret Philippa (Phil) Gardiner, who graduated MB BS at the University of Adelaide also in 1942.

Nicholls had joined the CMF, on 17th April 1939, and was posted to 3rd FdAmb. After graduation, on 27th January 1943, he was placed on the Reserve of Officers with the rank of honorary captain, and was called up for full-time duty on 1st February 1944. After training with the LHQ AAMC Training School in Ivanhoe, Victoria, he served with 121 AGH. He was detached to 15th FdAmb on 1st February 1945, and then as an RMO in 15 Bn on 15th March 1945 and joined the 2/AIF on 16th April 1945. Nicholls travelled via Townsville and Finschhafen, on the Huon Peninsula in the Morobe Province of PNG, to Bougainville. Here he continued to serve as an RMO to 15 Bn until posted to 121 AGH on 17th January 1946. He left Bougainville, on 24th March 1946, and returned to South Australia, via Sydney, on 10th April 1946, and was posted to 105 Mil Hosp at Daw Park. He was discharged on 23rd January 1947. He had served 373 days within and 715 days outside Australia. Nicholls was ‘Mentioned in Despatches' for distinguished service in the south-west Pacific area; promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette of 6th March 1947. 

Following the war, Nicholls and his wife undertook general practice together in country SA. They are recorded as having a general practice in Mount Gambier, Mannum and later in Minlaton, SA, in 1980. Nicholls performed is own surgery in their practice, and his wife, Phil, undertook the anaesthetics. They had eleven children, five boys and six girls. Jeffery, William, Andrew, Phillip, Therese, Janet, Sue, Tim, Catherine and Pamela. Both celebrated the 70th anniversary of their graduation at the age of 93, in 2012. James Herschel Nicholls died in his 100th year on 7th July 2018.  Nine of his children survived him. His wife Phil, and children, William and Janet predeceased him.


Blood, Sweat and Fears III: Medical Practitioners South Australia, who Served in World War 2. 

Swain, Jelly, Verco, Summers. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2019. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD