Victoria Cross and case
Victoria Cross (cased) awarded to Private Henry James Nicholas, 12th Nelson Company, 1 Battalion (Canterbury Regiment), for gallantry on 3 December 1917 at Polderhoek, Belgium.
"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, in attack [at Polderhoek, Belgium, on 3 December 1917]. Private Nicholas, who was one of a Lewis-gun section, had orders to form a defensive flank to the right of the advance, which was subsequently checked by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from an enemy strong point. Whereupon, followed by the remainder of his section at an interval of about 25 yards, Private Nicholas rushed forward alone, shot the officer in command of the strongpoint, and overcame the remainder of the garrison of sixteen by means of bombs and bayonet, capturing four wounded prisoners and a machine gun. He captured the strongpoint practically single-handed and thereby saved many casualties. Subsequently, when the advance had reached its limit, Private Nicholas collected ammunition under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. His exceptional valour and coolness throughout the operations afforded an inspiring example to all." (London Gazette, 8 January 1918).