If you have found the information on these pages useful, you might like to contribute to the costs involved (this money comes directly to me)
Or you may wish to give to one of these charities that are close to my heart - please tell them how you found them, if donating this way

Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC1,2

M, #12811, b. 29 April 1917, d. 2 May 1945
Last Edited: 18 Jun 2020


Father*: Leslie Gibson Nicolson1 b. 18 Aug 1889, d. 14 Sep 1943
Mother*: Dorothea Hilda Somebody1 b. c 1892
  • Birth*: Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC was born on 29 April 1917.1
  • He was the son of Leslie Gibson Nicolson and Dorothea Hilda Somebody.1
  • (Deceased) Death*: Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC died on 2 May 1945 at Bay of Bengal, , at age 28.2
  • Photograph*: Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC is in this photograph taken.4
    Flight Lieutenant Eric J.B. Nicolson, VC, RAF (Detail from photograph by Stanley Devon, Royal Air Force official photographer. Imperial War Museum CH 1700 4700-16)
  • Biography*: He Nicolson,
    [Eric] James Brindley
    J.B. Nicolson
    Son of Leslie Gibson Nicolson, of independent means, and Dorothea Hilda Ellen Brindley, of Shoreham-by-Sea.
    Married (29.07.1939) Muriel Caroline Kendall, daughter of Arthur Kendall, a farmer, of Kirkby Wharfe, Yorkshire; one son.

    [various photos]

    Hampstead, London
    off Calcutta, India
    [Singapore Memorial, Kranji Cemetery, column 445]

    (A) P/O (prob)
         21.12.1936 [39329]
    (T) Sq.Ldr.
    (WS) Sq.Ldr.
         19.01.1945, seniority 17.06.1942
    (A) W/Cdr.
    Victoria Cross      VC
         * [only Fighter Command VC] [investiture 25.11.40]
    Distinguished Flying Cross      DFC
         Burma [investiture to next-of-kin 29.10.46]
    * During an engagement with the enemy near Southampton on 16th August, 1940, Flight Lieutenant Nicolson's aircraft was hit by four cannon shells, two of which wounded him whilst another set fire to the gravity tank. When about to abandon his aircraft owing to flames in the cockpit he sighted an enemy fighter. This he attacked and shot down, although as a result of staying in his burning aircraft he sustained serious burns to his hands, face, neck and legs. Flight Lieutenant Nicolson has always displayed great enthusiasm for air fighting and this incident shows that he possesses courage and determination of a high order. By continuing to engage the enemy after he had been wounded and his aircraft set on fire, he displayed exceptional gallantry and disregard for the safety of his own life.

    Education: Yardley Court Preparatory School, Tonbridge, and Tonbridge School
    Experimental engineer at Ricardo's Works, Shoreham, 1935-1936.
         joined RAF (White Waltham civil flying school)
         commissioned, RAF (General Duties Branch) [short service commission]
         training at Ternhill, Shropshire
         72 Squadron RAF (Church Fenton, then Leconfield, etc.)
         Acting Flight Commander, 249 Squadron RAF (Leconfield, form 14.08.1940 Boscombe Down, Wiltshire) [badly wounded during aerial combat which earned him the VC]
         RAF hospital at Halton & RAF convalescent facility at Torquay
         instructional staff , 54 Operational Training Unit RAF
         Commanding Officer, 1459 Flight RAF (later 538 Squadron RAF) (Hibaldstow)

         transferred to reserve (RAFO)
         staff officer at HQ 293 Wing RAF (Alipore, India)
         on staff of Air HQ at Bengal
         Commanding Officer, 27 Squadron RAF (Agartala, Burma)
         Wing Commander (Training) at 3rd Tactical Air Force HQ (Comilla, Bengal)
    [Joined the crew of KH210 of 355 Squadron RAF as an observer for a raid on Rangoon. Two hours after take-off the plane's starboard engines caught fire and at 2.50 a.m. on 2 May 1945 the plane ditched in the Bay of Bengal. There were only two survivors from the crew of eleven: one of them reported seeing Nicolson give a cheery thumbs-up sign just before taking his ditching station. His body was never recovered.]

    1 Bf 109
    Literature: Peter D. Mason, Nicolson VC : full and authorised biography of James Brindley Nicolson (1991)

    And more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Brindley_Nicolson between 1917 and 1945.2,6

Census & Directory Entries

Member of HouseholdSeptember 1939They was listed as a member of the household of Leslie Gibson Nicolson and Dorothea Hilda Somebody in the 1939 Register at 8A St leonards Road, Hove, Sussex, England, . Assumed; Nicolson Household (4 People)
8A Saint Leonards Road _ Hove M.B., Sussex, England
First Name(s) Last Name(s) DOB Sex Occupation Marital Status Schedule Schedule Sub Number
_ Leslie Nicolson
Male No Trade
Invalid Married 432 1
_ Dorothea Nicolson
Female Nurse Married 432 2
_ Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.
_ Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.7

Military Service

  • Military Service*: Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC served with the Royal Air Force between 1936 and 1945.


  1. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) British Royal Air Force 1912-1939 Transcription URL of this page: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fair79%2f95955 [Mar 2016].
  2. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) https://www.unithistories.com/officers/RAF_officers_N01.html [Jun 2020].
  3. By Arghya1999 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80374505
  4. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/nick-nicolson/ [Jun 2020].
  5. https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/nick-nicolson/
  6. [S29] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Brindley_Nicolson [Jun 2020].
  7. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) 1939 Register Transcription URL of this page: http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=tna%2fr39%2f2517%2f2517d%2f005%2f35 [Mar 2016].