Small shaving mirror in fabric pouch : Private A M Nicholson, 5 Battalion AIF

Place Europe: Western Front
Accession Number REL38752
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Glass
Maker Unknown
Date made Unknown
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Small shaving mirror in fabric pouch. The mirror is double sided, with the reflective surface sandwiched between two small sheets of glass. The edges of the glass have been rounded, as have the corners. A tassel is attached to one end of the mirror thorugh a hole drilled in the centre top. The pouch is roughly woven with horizontal rows of tan, olive green, light yellow and black. The vertical rows are mainly white, with two sections of black. The closed edges of the pouch are bordered with brown leatherette.

History / Summary

3368 Private Arthur Marshall Nicholson was born at Brighton, Victoria, the son of Samuel Henry and Hannah Eliza Nicholson. He was working as a grocer when he enlisted in the AIF on 7 July 1915. He embarked from Melbourne for Egypt on 11 October 1915 with the 11th reinforcements of 5 Battalion. Nicholson served in Egypt until 25 March 1916 when he embarked for France, arriving at Marseilles five days later. He served in France and took part in his unit's first major action in France, at Pozieres in the Somme Valley, in July 1916. On 24 December 1916 Private Nicholson was admitted to hospital with trench feet. He was sent to England and was in hospital until May 1917. He undertook further training at Perham Downs for two months before rejoining his unit in Belgium in late August 1917. On 20 September 1917 Nicholson took part in an attack at Menin Road, near Ypres in Belgium, capturing German territory. Throughout the following day, 21 September, German artillery fire harassed the Australian positions and as the day went on became increasingly accurate. At some point during the day, Private Nicholson was hit by shrapnel in his left leg and ankle. He was first treated by the 6th Australian Field Ambulance, who then transferred him to the 17th (British) Casualty Clearing Station, where he died of his wounds. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.This mirror was returned to his family among his personal effects after his death.