William Coldingham Masters Nicholson

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Sir William C. M. Nicholson.

Admiral SIR William Coldingham Masters Nicholson, K.C.B., Royal Navy (28 October, 1863 – 9 January, 1932) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 21 August, 1885.[1]

Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Commander on 1 January, 1898.[2]


Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1905.[3]

He assumed command of the new heavy cruiser Berwick in January 1908.[4]

He was appointed to command the light cruiser Achilles on 23 November 1908.[5]

Appointed Captain of H.M.S. Vernon on 1 November 1911, a post he would retain for three years. [6]

Great War

Nicholson as Rear-Admiral, 1916.

Appointed captain of Emperor of India on 15 September, 1914.[7]

On 10 June 1916, Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral, vice Nelson-Ward.[8] On 15 September he was appointed an Additional Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) dated 31 May.[9]

He was appointed Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron, hoisting his flag in the Emperor of India on 7 December. His staff was composed of Henry Rogers, Secretary, Roden H. V. Buxton, Flag Lieutenant, and Maurice H. Elliot, Clerk to Secretary.[10]


Nicholson was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 24 March, 1919.[11]

Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 24 November, 1920, vice Nicholson.[12]

Nicholson was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 1 July, 1925, vice Duff.[13] He was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 14 October.[14]


  1. The London Gazette: no. 25514. p. 4516. 25 September, 1885.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 26924. p. 7854. 31 December, 1897.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 27812. p. 4557. 30 June, 1905.
  4. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  5. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 214.
  6. Blond. Technology and Tradition. p. 167.
  7. The Navy List (December, 1914). p. 311.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29629. p. 6066. 20 June, 1916.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29751. p. 9070. 15 September, 1916.
  10. The Navy List (November, 1917). p. 393l.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31248. p. 3859. 24 March, 1919.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 32154. p. 12054. 7 December, 1920.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 33068. p. 4866. 21 July, 1925.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 33093. p. 6693. 16 October, 1925.


  • "Admiral Sir William Nicholson" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 11 January, 1932. Issue 46027, col A, p. 14.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Alexander L. Duff
Rear-Admiral in the First Battle Squadron
1916 – 1919
Succeeded by
The Hon. Victor A. Stanley

Preceded by
Charles Bartolomé
Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy
1919 – 1920
Succeeded by
Frederick L. Field

Preceded by
Sir Sydney R. Fremantle
Vice-Admiral Commanding,
First Battle Squadron

1921 – 1922
Succeeded by
Sir Edwyn S. Alexander-Sinclair