Private James Nixon


James Nixon was born on 23 February 1892 at 6 Glenbrook Terrace, Londonderry, the sixth of nine children of railway clerk (later station-master) George Nixon and his wife Mary (née Anderson). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 5 Mount Street, Londonderry, with his parents and six of his seven surviving siblings, and working as a commission agent. On 5 December 1913 he married Aphraditus (Aphra) Sandes Hollingsworth in the Clooney Hall Methodist Church, Londonderry. The couple had two children before Aphra's death from pulmonary tuberculosis on 5 April 1916.

Nixon enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 29 May 1917 (No.2465 – later Corps of Hussars No.71849). He was described as being 5' 5¾" tall, with a fresh complexion and fair hair.

On 1 July he was appointed to the rank of acting lance corporal, but lost the rank on 4 September for being absent from guard parade and breaking out of camp whilst under open arrest. On 24 September he was awarded 14 days' confined to base for being absent without leave for eight days, an offence for which he had been reported as a deserter. He was disciplined for four more offences at the Antrim camp from February to May 1918, for irregular conduct, neglect of duty, and being absent off pass (twice).

On 5 November 1918 Nixon embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment. They joined the regiment in the field on 22 November, eleven days after the Armistice had brought an end to the fighting. On 7 June 1919 he was one of twenty-two men of the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment who volunteered to transfer to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23915). They were posted to the IV Corps Cyclist Battalion at Rolsdorf, part of the Army of Occupation on the Rhine.

Nixon was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 10 November 1919. His military character was recorded as good.


This page last updated 20 January 2024.