AN OMISSION lasting more than 100 years has finally been rectified.

A soldier who died near Winchester in the First World War now has an official stone over his grave.

Captain John Henry Nicholson was honoured in a special ceremony at West Hill Cemetery.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has placed a headstone 102 years after he died.

Captain Nicholson, of the Army Ordnance Department (AOD), died aged 51 at 7.30am on November 6, 1915 at Avington Park Camp, when he accidentally shot himself while cleaning his own revolver.

At the time, authorities never reported his death to the CWGC meaning he was never given a Commission headstone or remembered on the Roll of Honour.

However, thanks to John’s great grandson, David Nicholls, who researched his death and brought it to the attention of the CWGC, John can now be commemorated by the Commission.

Born in the Alresford, John joined the army when he was 19 years old. Throughout his career as a professional soldier, he was also a Senior Warrant Officer and Company Sergeant Major in the Royal Artillery, until he started working for the AOD.

He married his wife, Alice Benson, in 1889 and they had seven children, Grace, Sidney, May, Hilda, Kenneth, Cyril and Elsie.

Tragically, John and Alice lost two daughters - Grace to Scarlet Fever when she was only seven years old and two-year old May, to diphtheria.

Les Kibble, CWGC’s regional manager for the South East, said: “We are always honoured to be able to commemorate those who died during both world wars and to make sure they are remembered for their sacrifice – whether their death was on the battlefields abroad or here on home soil.

“Now that John has a Commission headstone, everyone who comes to visit this cemetery will know he fought for his country and that he should always be remembered for that.”

David Nicholls, the great grandson, added: “We are very grateful to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for helping us get my great grandfather a Commission Headstone.

“According to press reports at the time of his death, John Henry was a well-known and respected officer in both Colchester Garrison and the wider community. He was a devout Christian, a Presbyterian, and an active member of Lion Walk Church, Colchester.

“During his previous posting of three years in Hong Kong, he was involved with building a mission there. On a lighter side, my great grandfather was also a keen sportsman, capable of beating much younger men at tennis when he was 50 years old.”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) commemorates the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. It also holds and updates an extensive and accessible records archive.

The Commission operates in more than 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.

-Pictures courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission