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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Alvin Rupert Nickerson
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Name: Service No Rank Battalion/Service Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Enlistment: Place of Enlistment: Address at Enlistment: Age at Enlistment: Height: Complexion: Eye Colour: Hair Colour: Martial Status: Trade: Religion: Next of Kin: Date of Discharge: Date of Death: Age at Death: Cemetery:
Alvin Rupert Nickerson 282977 Private 219th Battalion/85th Battalion February 21, 1877 Baccaro, Shelburne Co., NS March 27, 1916 Yarmouth, NS Chebogue Point, Yarmouth Co., NS 39 5 feet, 10 inches Medium Brown Brown Married Fisherman Baptist Clissie May Nickerson (Wife) Chebogue Point, NS January 17, 1919 (Halifax) January 17, 1957 79 Chebogue Cemetery, Yarmouth Co., NS Alvin Rupert Nickerson was the son of Richard (1863-1911) and Mary Louise (Crowell) Nickerson (1839-). Although he indicated he was born in 1878 on his attestation papers in WWI, he was born in 1877 according to his Nova Scotia birth record. He married Clissie May Purdy (1882-1970) on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1897 in Shelburne, NS. Alvin and Clissie had eleven children. Prior to the First World War, Alvin served in the Active Militia with the 29th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery in Yarmouth, NS. After he enlisted in March of 1916, he was hospitalised with measles in Yarmouth from May 25 to June 3, 1916. Later that year, he sailed for the UK on October 12, 1916 aboard the SS Olympic from Halifax, NS and disembarked in Liverpool, England on October 18, 1916. Alvin spent 6 months with the 17 Reserve Battalion at Bramshott and then served in France with the 85th Battalion, landing in France in July 1917. He was admitted to the 12th Canadian Field Ambulance February 8, 1918 because of an injury to his left knee. The report indicated ICT left knee which was either an ‘inflammation of connective tissue’ and/or some other knew injury and infection. He remained under care at different facilities for 2 months, eventually being returned to England for recovery. He would not return to France, and remained in casualty companies until his return to Canada early in 1919. He was discharged January 17, 1919, in Halifax and resided in Yarmouth Country after the war. He died at the age of 79 in Overton, Yarmouth Co., NS and rests in the Chebogue Cemetery. Of interesting note: Jeff Gusky, an American doctor, photographer and television host, is known for finding and photographing a series of underground cities adjacent to the former front-line First World War trenches along the Western Front in France. In a video from the Smithsonian, he references different carvings by Allied soldiers in these caves used as troop quarters on the Chemin des Dames plateau and mentions one specifically – an “Alvin R. Nickerson”.
Some of the cave carvings by troops in France
Sources: Library and Archives Canada smithsonianmag.com (At the 2 min-20-mark of the video) findagrave