NICHOLAS, George Matson

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 29 April 1915
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 24th Infantry Battalion
Born: Coleraine, Victoria, Australia, 3 November 1887
Home Town: Trafalgar, Baw Baw, Victoria
Schooling: St Patrick's (Catholic) College, Ballarat, Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: High School Teacher
Died: Killed In Action, France, 14 November 1916, aged 29 years
Cemetery: AIF Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers
IV H 27
Memorials: Gormandale East State School HR, Trafalgar War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

29 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 24th Infantry Battalion

Major George ‘Matson’ Nicholas DSO, MiD

Biography from AWM

Rix Nicholas drew this portrait of her new husband two days after their wedding on 9 October 1916.

The eldest of six brothers, George or ‘Matson’ Nicholas (1887-1916) as he was known, was a school teacher before enlisting on 28 April 1915 and served on Gallipoli where he was wounded by shrapnel. On his recovery Matson re-joined his Battalion in France and won a Distinguished Service Order at Pozieres, single handedly capturing an enemy machine gun post. General Birdwood wrote to congratulate him; ‘Your action not only then, but on other occasions, has been beyond praise. And not only do I thank you most heartily for it, but feel proud at having such officers serving under me’. According to family legend Matson saw some of Hilda’s paintings in her abandoned studio while based in Etaples with his Battalion. On travelling to England on leave he tracked her down. Hilda and Matson were married on 7 October 1916 and honeymooned at Hindhead, Surrey. On returning to the Front Matson assumed command of the 24th Battalion and was killed in action at Flers on 14 November 1916.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Mr. J. P. and Mrs. M. E. Nicholas, of Sunshine, Victoria

Distinguished Service Order

'For conspicuous gallantry and initiative. having whilst on reconnaissance discovered a machine gun, Captain Nicholas went out again alone, and with great dash and initiative captured the gun.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917