Lieutenant B. F. Nicholas

Accession Number ART96808
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 56 x 38 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description charcoal and pastel over pencil on paper
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1916
Maker Nicholas, Hilda Rix
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c.1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Bryon Fitzgerald Nicholas (1893–1917) enlisted at the same time as his older brother George Matson Nicholas. He left Australia as a trooper with the 13th Light Horse Regiment and also saw service on Gallipoli. By 1916 he had been transferred into the 24th Battalion and fought on the Western Front alongside his brother. Bryon was awarded the Military Cross at Bapaume in April 1917 and promoted to Lieutenant. In a letter of congratulations General Birdwood wrote of this action; ‘ I know that while in command of a forward post you pushed out and dug in two standing patrols under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, which later on, under your control, were able to render very effectively assistance in repelling a German counter-attack’. On 9 October 1917 he was killed in action in an attack by the 24th Battalion on Daisy Wood near Broodseinde Ridge, Belgium. Bryon’s portrait is in the same medium and pose as that of Matson Nicholas (ART96807) with the colour patch of the 24th Battalion highlighted. It is a sensitively rendered study of a First World War soldier.

Purchased with assistance from the Australian Government’s National Cultural Heritage Account, 2015.