Topic: Arthur Mervyn Nicholson (1897-1973)

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The foundation principal of both Tauranga College and Tauranga Boys' College, Arthur Mervyn Nicholson was wounded in France whilst serving during World War I.

Arthur Mervyn Nicholson was born in Raglan on 3 February 1897. His parents were George James and Rosa Nicholson (nee Paxton) who married in 1891 (reg. 1891/198). The Nicholson family moved from Waikato to Auckland in the early 1900s.

Arthur is mentioned in the New Zealand Teachers and Civil Service Examinations as early as 1910.

He joined up for World War I, and embarked on board the 'Maunganui' on 12 June 1917 as a private with the 27th Reinforcements (Signals Section). After arriving in Plymouth, Devon, England with the NZEF, he was then posted to France.

Arthur was wounded and admitted to hospital in March 1918. He was finally discharged from the Army on 20 June 1919.

From around 1920 Arthur served as an officer in the Territorials.

In 1922 he married Jessie Letitia McCulloch. They had three children together:

  1. Glen Nicholson
  2. Donal Gordon Nicholson (1928-2004). Born 24 October 1928. Donal became a teacher. He died in Auckland on 6 May 2004 (reg. 2004/10198).
  3. Gordon Nicholson

From 1923 to 1927 he studied at Auckland University, graduating with a M.A. B.Com Second Class Honours.

For 23 years Arthur was a Master at Auckland Grammar School. He then moved to Tauranga and became Headmaster at Tauranga College and then Tauranga Boys' College.

After this he moved back to Auckland.

In 1969 Arthur (JP) was awarded the MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours for Services to Education.

He died at Waiheke on 31 January 1973. His obituary appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 2 February 1973:

DEATH OF FORMER COLLEGE HEAD The foundation principal of Tauranga College, Mr A. M. Nicholson, M.B.E, died in Waiheke this week aged 76. He was principal of the college from 1946 to 1957 while the college was co-educational and then principal of the Boys College in 1957-58. In 1956 he served as president of the NZ Post-Primary Teachers Association. He was educated at Auckland Grammar School, Auckland Teachers' College and Auckland University taking the degrees of Mast of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce. At university he was a tennis Blue. In 1920-21 he represented Auckland at Rugby and played against the touring Springbok team. In 1921 he joined the staff of Auckland Grammar School and in 1943 became an inspector of post-primary schools. After leaving Tauranga, Mr Nicholson was appointed Teacher Recruiting Officer for the Department of Education in Auckland. He is survived by his wife, Jessie, and three sons, Glen, Donal and Gordon (p. 5). 

 

Sources:

Bay of Plenty Times (2 February 1973, p. 5).

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record.

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Arthur Mervyn Nicholson (1897-1973)


Year:1918
Note:Service Number: 43667
First Names:Arthur Mervyn
Last Name:Nicholson
Date of Birth:3 February 1897
Place of Birth:Raglan
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:31 January 1973
Place of death:Waiheke
Occupation:school principal
Spouses name:Jessie Letitia McCulloch
Spouses date of birth:6 June 1898
Spouses date of death:1981
Date of marriage:1922
Fathers name:George James Nicholson
Fathers date of birth:2 July 1866
Fathers place of birth:Cliddesden, Hampshire, England
Fathers date of death:4 April 1948
Fathers place of death:Auckland, New Zealand
Mothers name:Rosa Paxton
Mothers date of birth:16 May 1870
Mothers date of death:1942
Mothers place of death:New Zealand
Name of sibilings:George Francis Nicholson and Trevor MacDonald Nicholson
Name of the children:Glen Nicholson, Donal Gordon Nicholson, and Gordon Nicholson
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)