Hello everyone, thank you for the warm welcome.
"I am a family historian researching my great great grandfather Charles Thomas Nicholls born in 1860 - 1937.
Newspaper reports he was a Color Sergeant in 3rd Battalion, Ballarat and the Field Electrical Engineers, Melbourne.
So far I have not found any records of him being in the services.
It is believed that he was in South Africa during war time. This is supported from the photos
I have received.
I am hoping that the knowledgeable members can help me out by identifying the area or from the banner in one photo which says
(They shall beat their swords into plowshears and
their spears into pruninghooks) A quote from the bible?" quoted from introduction post.
Vulcan pic, "on our way to South Africa". This is all the information that was given to me .
Any information that you can tell me about the uniforms etc, would be a great help.
Unfortunately, not much help from me! Pics 2, 3 and 5, the uniforms look like Australian. In pic 3, the rifles appear to be SMLEs (WW1 period). While the definition of the pics is generally quite good, I could not make out the badges at all. Afraid someone else will have to assist in the IDs.
Thanks Linneyl, I have more pics but it wont let me post any more! It seems. Have I uploaded each photo twice?
They are wearing the rising sun badge which is Australian but I cant work out what unit.
The Field Electrical Engineers, cannot find who they are.
If you have ID'd the badges worn in one or more of the pics as the Rising Sun, then that plus the uniforms date the subjects from the WW1 period. Definitely not the ABW. Perhaps you might try the AWM website for any details of Nicholls' WW1 service. I can't see anything so far to link him with Boer War service.
You mentioned your GG Grandfather was recorded in the newspaper regarding his service in the Electrical Field Engineers? What date was this article? Also, if Charles had served in the Boer War he would have been aged 39, and 54 for WW1. Do you have any more information regarding his military service? Could he have served in a Militia ? ( ref picture 3 white spiked pith helmets)
With relation to picture 5, I assume your G G Grandfather is in the middle row ?
Is he the Sergeant wearing medal ribbons ?, does the family have his medals? The cap badges in the same image are also intriguing, they do not look like the rising sun cap badge in my opinion.
The images you have posted certainly look WW1 reference the uniforms. Picture 1, ref the ship and sailing to South Africa? I have had a trawl through the naval ships for Australia but no HMAS with that name was forthcoming. I did find a HMS Vulcan which was a British torpedo boat depot ship launched on 1889 and served in the Mediterranean circa 1901 then in 1909 which was used to support submarines.
HMS Vulcan was a floating dockyard. As a cruiser and fighting ship, she mounted 20 quick-firing guns and torpedo tubes; as a repairing shop she was fitted with lathes, drilling, planing, slotting and punching machines, circular saws, workshops and smithery, forges and furnaces; as a torpedo depot, she carried on board large supplies of torpedos, torpedo stores, mines and mining apparatus; as a floating dockyard, she contained a small flotilla of torpedo boats with cranes for lifting them, as well as all sorts of special appliances. Her raison d'etre was torpedo nurse and general repairing establishment afloat for general service. The lifebuoy in your image is named Vulcan, with what looks like C or S Engineers, it could be possible your ancestor was aboard in an engineering capacity? However, more research required and assuming it is the right ship.
With reference to Electrical Field Engineers? It is my understanding that the Imperial Forces engineers during WW1 were numbered Field Company Australian Engineers.
Ps......1914 records a Charles Thomas Nicholls as being a Teacher in Ballarat. Is this your G G Grandfather?
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.