Wednesday, 11 January 2017

11th January 2017 - John Hamilton Nicholls DFC - RIP

Thought for the day:" 'How many bars intro' they asked - 'I try not to drink too much before a gig' I answered"

Okay - it's not the price - it is the tasting guide that I find good ..   Will have to check Tesco to see if they have others of the same ilk ...  Amused me ..


First pass on the Highwayman starting - no way to put it here without a video it seems - no sound player included in the blog system - oh well - will have to wait until it is finished ...

First of a spate of funerals today - John Nicholls DFC - a very colourful character who managed to get through the last war as a Wing Commander serving in the Malt Africa and Italy before leading 601 Squadron and achieved 100 years before passing away over Christmas.


From the Daily Mail - April 2016...

John Hamilton Nicholls destroyed and damaged a number of enemy aircraft during the war and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work.

Now, as he celebrates his 100th birthday, he has confessed that he owes his life to two pilots who allowed him to escape after shooting down his Spitfire just off the coast of North Africa.

Mr Nicholls, from Ammanford, South Wales, revealed he lost consciousness at 36,000ft following the attack but was allowed to continue flying by the German crew after regaining control of his aircraft when he came round at around 2,000ft.

He said: 'I was caught across one wing and the fuselage and one cannon shell exploded in the back of my seat.

'Fortunately I had a radio back pack on which cushioned the explosion but I momentarily lost consciousness and the spiralled out of control from 36,000ft.

'The Messerschmitts followed me down. I regained consciousness and recovered control of a badly damaged aircraft at about 2,000ft.

'The enemy aircraft flew alongside me, saluted and peeled away to leave me to my fate.

John Hamilton Nicholls destroyed and damaged a number of enemy aircraft during the war and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work.

Now, as he celebrates his 100th birthday, he has confessed that he owes his life to two pilots who allowed him to escape after shooting down his Spitfire just off the coast of North Africa.




In the next two months he damaged up to four more planes before becoming a Flight Commander in March 1943.

While in Italy later that year, he helped destroy a Dornier 217, which was shot down into the sea off Termoli, and claimed a Junkers 190.

Mr Nicholls, whose father was an English teacher at Swansea Grammar School, where he attended, said it was 'as much luck as skill' as he spoke about his memories. 


Asked what was the best part of the war - he replied "Getting back alive" 


Interestingly - a search of Google shows that a hand written letter fetched £22 in auction.. 
I must have hundreds over the years ...

He was also a very active Freemason, and I shared many orders with him. A great ritualist and a true gentleman... Asked what he attirbuted staying alive until 100 - he said "not getting married"...

John Hamilton Nicholls DFC - RIP

I raise my glass ...




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