Paratrooper -Bill Nicholls 9 para & ? para, wounded at Arnhem

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Ravrick, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    I am trying to find out what I can about a former Airborne soldier for a friend of mine. Details we have so far (unconfirmed) are:

    Name - Bill Nicholls or Nicolls, had a Northumberland Fusiliers regimental number (not known yet)

    Served Western desert where he was wounded.

    Landed on D Day and was involved in the attack on the Merville Battery in Normandy - possibly 9 Para

    Later jumped at Arnhem, was wounded in the shoulder at Oosterbeek but was not a POW. No idea which Bn

    I thought with that info I must be able to track him down but have had no luck. Does anybody have any nominal rolls to check if his name appears? Hopefully I may have some more info at the weekend.

  2. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    There's a 9th Bn facebook page with veterans families on, if that's of help?
  3. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    There are lots of tales of men parachuting into Normandy and Arnhem (lots of newspaper cuttings about Arnhem casualties say they had previously landed in Normandy) but I think all turn out to be erroneous, never say never but I don't think there are any confirmed Paras who did both - the only lads that did the two were the GP's. I'd be happy if anyone can prove me wrong on this though
    redtop likes this.
  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I checked 1944 casualty lists and the only W or B Nichol(l)s I could see in the Army Air Corps was 14426337 W Nichols of 12th Battalion wounded 12/6/44 in Normandy - no note a previous wounding in the desert and with that number he would have enlisted about March 43, so I'm guessing not him. There could be a bit of confusion if Bill (or William) was a middle name - I know you mention number not yet known, is it likely to come? that could be the key
    redtop likes this.
  5. Ravrick

    Ravrick Senior Member

    Thanks for the swift replies, I should have more info on Monday... will update then,
  6. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I’m going to say if he jumped on D Day then he wouldn’t have done Arnhem.
    he may have gone on to do the Rhine Crossing.
    Get the service number and the records then all will be revealed.
  7. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Alistair you need to check your Fellowship newsletters as our Chairman pointed out a man who was not a glider pilot who was present at both...….
    AB64 likes this.
  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Cheers, I need to catch up with them, I’m a bit behind, is this the only confirmed one (so far)? If so I’d still stick with the original suggestion that it’s often claimed men did both but chances are it’s an error (but try remember say “almost” all) as I still think most are family folklore, would you agree?
  9. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Yes I'd agree I have had numerous relatives over the years say my Dad/Grandad/Uncle etc was at both Normandy and Arnhem so I say he was a glider pilot then? Nearly always it is no he parachuted on both operations……...sadly when you ask for evidence apart from he told me very little is produced…...I will always remember one occasion when the relative produced service records and he had no service in NWE in them no entitlement to a France and Germany Star yet they said the records were wrong...…even worse was whilst he had been a trained parachutist from the ME he had lost his parachute pay in August 1944 and transferred from a military hospital to a Holding Unit on 19 September 1944...they know he was at Arnhem because he told them...…..I'm still awaiting the evidence......

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