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Articles Home » Life and Times » John NICHOLLS Coastguard (1815-1871)
John NICHOLLS Coastguard (1815-1871)
Summary of John Nicholls, my Great, Great, Grandfather (1815 – 1871)
Career in Coastguards
• Nominated from 124-ton Coastguard Cruizer “Dove” for England and Wales Coastguard Service on 9th October 1841. Appointment number 7594.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/97 Coastguard Nominations 1827-1840).
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/24 Coastguard Ships Record Books 1816-1842).
• Appointed to Axmouth #293 Coastguard Station, Port Lyme, District Lyme, Devon on 13th October 1841, rank Boatman. Signed a “10 years continuous service” engagement.
John took first examination 19th October 1841 in Falmouth. Joined service 27th October 1841. There were additional qualification reports/ papers, concluding 4th January 1842.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/78 Coastguard Registers for England 1833-1841).
• Axmouth #293 from 13th October 1841 until removed to Port Terlin #184, Ireland 9th April 1842.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/6 Coastguard Establishment Books England 1833-44)
• Nominated for Ireland Coastguard Service on 1st April 1842 with probation letter.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/100 Coastguard Nominations Ireland 1830-49).
• Port Terlin #184 port Ballina, Dunkeenan district, (NE coast) until removed 8th April 1844.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/18 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1827-48)
• Clogher Head #290 port Drogheda, Dundalk district (E coast) until removed 20th June 1851.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/19 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1845-62)
• Kilcummin #185 port Ballina, Ballycastle district from 20th June 1851 until 27th April 1859.
Promoted to Commissioned Boatman on 5th October 1853.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/19 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1845-1862)
• John’s birth date 14th July 1815 in Flushing, Cornwall in Supplementary Record Book for Kilcummin, Ballycastle Killala. Daily pay rate was 1 shilling and 9 pence. Last ship in Royal Navy that he served in named as Vengeance with discharge date 25th April 1855 and return to Kilcummin date 1st Oct 1858.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/39 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1858-1864.)
• In Royal Navy on HMS Vengeance in Crimean War [from 5th October 1853] until 25th April 1855.
• HMS Vengeance received battle honours for Crimea 1854. By Admiralty Order the Crimea Medal was awarded to sailors and marines present during the campaign, between 17th September 1854 (the first landing at Eupatoria) and 9th September 1855 (when the allies secured Sebastopol). Four clasps to this medal were awarded to the men present in the actions at Sebastopol itself (September 1854 to September 1855), Inkerman (5th November 1854), Balaklave (Balaclava) (25th October 1854) and (the sea of) Azoff.
John is not mentioned on list of officers and men of the Marine Brigade borne by this ship and awarded the Crimea Medal.
• Received 1st good conduct badge 1st Dec 1859 and earned pay increase to 2 shillings per day.
• Ballycastle #184 in Ballycastle Killala division from 27th April 1859 to 31st May 1861.
Promoted to Chief Boatman-in-Charge on 18th May 1861 with character “Very Good”.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/39 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1858-1864.)
• Nearby Belderig #183 port Ballina division Ballycastle Killala, Lough Swilly district 18th May 1861 to 12th November 1868, character “Very Good”. 2nd good conduct badge 1st February 1862.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/61 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1868-1869)
• There were 7 records in Coastguard Establishment and Supplementary Record Books for John Nicholls at Belderig. These records charted his stay in Beldrig technically moving districts from Ballycastle, Kingstown, and His Majesty’s Coastguard Ships “Lough Swilly”, “Ajax”, “Royal George”, “Frederick William”, “Trafalgar” then back to “Lough Swilly”; transfers into new books and districts but not physical transfers or removals. (Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/19/20/21/39/40/52/61 Coastguard Establishment Books 1845-69)
• Received 3rd badge for good conduct on 1st July 1867 and with it a small pay increase. (Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/52 Coastguard Establishment Books “Frederick William” 1867-68).
• At this point in Coastguard records, John Nicholls is documented as Jno: Nicholls. For the first time, birthplace is given as Falmouth, Cornwall and instead of his full birth date just year 1815. Pay per diem increased to3 shillings and 2 pence (3s 2d). Supplementary Record Book named last ship in Royal Navy served in as “Impregnable” from 15th June 1858 until 31 December 1867.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/61 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1868-1869)
• Returned to Belderig in “Trafalgar” district on 1st January 1868 stayed until 12th November 1868.
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/61 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1868-1869)
• Roddens #119, near Ballywater, Kingstown district, Ireland from 25th November 1868. Roddens #119, division Donaghadu, district “Royal George” until 31st March 1870.
(Sources: National Archives Records ADM 175/41 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1867-69)
• Final move to Burr Point #115 (most easterly point on mainland of Ireland) on 1st April 1870.
• John Nicholls was pensioned with a character reference of “Very Good” on 8th July 1871.
• [To confirm Royal Naval service, need to consult National Archives for 1853 – 1858 in the relevant Ships' Musters records or shore training establishment].
Personal Details
• John Nicholls born 14th July 1815 in Flushing, Cornwall (Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/39 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1858-64) or Falmouth, Cornwall
(Source: National Archives Records ADM 175/61 Coastguard Establishment Books Ireland 1868-9)
• A John Nichols [with single L] married Mary Anne Nicholls on 8th October 1840 in Mylor Parish . Their first child was a daughter Mary, baptised in Mylor Parish 12th September 1841.
• Since few Irish records exist it is difficult to verify how many children John and Mary Ann bore. I know that John had one son, Richard John Nicholls (Great Grandfather) born 6th April 1843 in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland and possibly two younger sons; John born 1846 in Ireland and James Pashbee baptised 20th September 1847 in Manaccan, Cornwall . Richard became a coastguard after being nominated into the England and Wales Coastguard Service as a boy, from “Ajax” Coastguard District in Ireland, where his father John was stationed in 1862.
• John’s father was John Nicholls, a shipwright. His mother was Mary Ann Nicholls née Cardew and they resided in Flushing, Cornwall. His parents were married in Mylor Parish on 9th August 1812by licence, suggesting that one or both of them were not from Mylor. Their first child was a daughter Jane Nicholls baptized 17th May 1813 in Mylor Parish. John was their second child born on 14th July 1815 and baptized in Mylor Parish 8th October 1815.
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