Harley James (Nigger) NICOL MiD

NICOL, Harley James

Service Number: SX6091
Enlisted: 21 June 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Uraidla, South Australia, 13 February 1911
Home Town: Fullarton, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Uraidla Primary School
Occupation: Gardener/Mental hospital attendant
Died: Natural causes (bronchopneumonia & lung cancer), North Adelaide, South Australia, 28 February 1971, aged 60 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
RSL, Wall 119, Niche D002
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World War 2 Service

21 Jun 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Sergeant, SX6091, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
21 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, SX6091, Adelaide, South Australia
22 Jun 1940: Involvement Private, SX6091, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
4 Sep 1941: Involvement Private, SX6091, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion, Siege of Tobruk
2 Nov 1942: Promoted Sergeant, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
17 Oct 1943: Wounded New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns, GSW - right thigh/buttock
23 Oct 1945: Discharged Sergeant, SX6091, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion
23 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Sergeant, SX6091, 2nd/43rd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Harley James Nicol's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Harley was the eldest son of Wally and Nellie Nicol of Uraidla. After gaining his Qualifying Certificate, he left school at 13 and worked at home on the family market garden. 

In July 1938 he married Nellie Klaebsch, and five weeks before war broke out in 1939 they had their only child, Peter. Nigger got a job as a gardener at the Parkside Mental Hospital and the family moved to 3 Beaconsfield Street Fullarton Estate. This was to be the family's rented home for the next 30 years.

He was a keen and talented footballer. In 1928 he won a medal for the Fairest and most Brilliant player in the Carey's Gully Football Club. He then played for Ambleside for many seasons before transfering to the Crafers Football Club. He was captain for one season and in 1936 and 1937 won trophies for the Best and Fairest player. During the  1939-1945 war, he repreented his battalion on several occassions. After the war he was a trainer with the South Adelaide Junior Colts. He continued to play the odd game with the Parkside Mental Hospital team until he was 45.

After the war he continued to work at Parkside and eventually became the head gardener. However, because they would not recognise gardening as a trade and the pay rate was so low, he transferred inside and spent his last working years as a Mental Hospital Attendent.

In 1961 he and Nellie were able to purchase a War Service home in Campbelltown, where he spent his last 10 years. In 1970 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The cancer spread though his body rapidly and after a short battle, he died peacefully in Calvary Hospital.

My father was a down to earth no nonsense kind of bloke - tough but fair. He was a man of integrity. - Peter Nicol