NICKELS, Christopher Charles Gordon

Lieutenant, Christopher Charles Gordon NICKELS
Aged 18

324 Flight, Royal Air Force
formerly Border Yeomanry
Died on Air Accident on Sunday, 9th June 1918

Christopher Charles Gordon NICKELS was born on 23rd October 1899 in West Ham (West Ham Q4-1899 4A:214), son of Christopher Charles William and Lily Amelia NICKELS (née NICKELS).

1901 census...Aged 1, he was at 139 Field Road, West Ham with his father Christopher C.W.NICKELS [34] draper's assistant born Halberton, Devon; his mother Lily A [26] born Halberton, Devon.

1911 census...Aged 11, he was at 41 Wanstead Park Avenue, Wanstead Park, London E12 with his parents (father now a wholesale drapery buyer) and brother Wallace Douglas [1] born East Ham. A sister, Greta Iris was born in 1914 in West Ham.

He was employed by A Blackmore and Co. Ltd., at Lloyds.

The East Anglian Record August 1918 mentions him, he left the school in July 1916

He enlisted in the Border Yeomanry, transferring to the Royal Naval Air Service at Greenwich on 7th October 1917. Entered as probationary Flight Officer on 13th October 1917 and posted to Hendon in November, and promoted to Flight Sub-Lieutenant on 22nd November 1917.
He was then sent for training to Calshot to train on various aircraft, including Caudrons, Curtiss, Shorts and various flying boats, being assessed as very good at aerial gunnery and average as a pilot. He passed his exams on 15th March 1918 as "VG Good pilot, seconded for large patrol boat and was posted to 324 Flight at Great Yarmouth on 20th March 1918.

On 9th June 1918 he took off from Gt Yarmouth on Short 184 seaplane, N1658. making a steep turn in bad weather the aircraft went into a spin and crashed into the sea off Gorleston. Christopher was drowned, his observer, 2nd Lt C.J. Lewis was slightly injured.

His photograph here below is whilst he was in the Royal Naval Air Service, before it merged with the Royal Flying Corps to become the Royal Air Force on 1st April 1918. 324 and 325 Flights were absorbed into 228 Squadron RAF on 20th August 1918.


photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Christopher Nickels is buried in City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Manor Park, 80.90195
also commemorated on the plaque in St. Gabriel's Church, Redbridge, London.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details