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Nichols, Capt. Raymond William, enlisted at Barriefield, Ontario, formerly from Wantage, England. Occupation: Chemist, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa. Military Service: Lieutenant, Reg. No. 219036, 80th Bn., transferred to 51 Bn. Attestation Papers. Diary References: Although Capt. R.W. Nichols was initially identified as the officer named in Frank Whiting's diary, subsequent research confirmed it was Lt. A. Nicholls.
Additional Biographical Information:
Capt. Nichols enlisted October 1915 in the 80th Bn. This battalion went overseas in May 1916 and was absorbed into the 51st Bn. on 30 September 1916. The 51st Bn. was part of the 12th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division, but not for long. Reinforcements were needed on the frontlines in France, so men from the 51st were sent to replace those lost in battles during the spring and early summer of 1916. The PPCLI has sustained heavy loses during the Battle of Sanctuary Wood and required replacements. On 9 June 1916, the War Diary recorded, “Draft of two hundred and seventy-nine men arrived including the fifth University company.” On the following day, it recorded “Draft of two hundred and fifty men arrived drawn mostly from fourth division.” However, Hodder-Williams did not record Lt., later Capt., Nichols as an officer in the PPCLI, so he must have been with one of the other battalions of the 7th Brigade or had gone directly to the 7th Brigade Pack Corps when he came into the field. The 51st Bn. was disbanded 13 November 1916.