VC hero’s story told by proud nephew

The story of how reluctant hero James Nicolson VC DFC came to be awarded the only Victoria Cross presented to a member of Fighter Command in the whole of the Second World War was told to an appreciative audience in the Geoffrey Page Centre in The Wing on Sunday (29 Sept).

Jim Nicolson, the nephew of the Hurricane pilot, who flew with No 249 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, gave a fascinating talk on his uncle, whose Hurricane was attacked by a Bf109. As he started to escape from the aircraft he saw the enemy fighter reappear beneath him, climbed back into the cockpit and began firing at it, despite being badly burned at the time.

Jim Nicolson pointed out that, like most VC recipients, his uncle often expressed doubt as to why he had been awarded the honour. He also revealed that as he descended by parachute, he was shot in the backside by the Home Guard, an incident which led to the local butcher’s boy knocking out the police sergeant responsible.

The next talk in the series will be by Wing Commander Sophy Gardner MBE RAF (rtd), who promises to deliver an equally fascinating talk on The RAF and Memorials this Sunday (6 October) starting at 2.30pm.

Sophy, who has been granted access to the royal archives about the RAF Memorial and presented a paper at the National Maritime Museum, will explore the challenges for the RAF and Royal Navy after World War I, when the focus was very much on the Army and the Western Front.  Tickets are limited as the Geoffrey Page Centre only holds 50 people. Please book by emailing enquries@battleofbritainmemorial.org or telephoning 01303 249292. Hurricane members of Friends of the Few are free, Spitfire members pay just £5 and general admission is £10.

James Nicolson

Jim Nicolson

One thought on “VC hero’s story told by proud nephew

    Greetings from the Washington, DC area. I have assisted the son of the late RAF 355 Sqn airman Eric Kightley to create a moving YouTube tribute to his father and to the men of Liberator KH210, which ditched in the Bay of Bengal on 2 May 1945. Only Eric and one other, the Australian 2nd pilot, survived. Among the casualties: W/Cdr James Nicolson VC, of Battle of Britain fame. In order to notify him of the YouTube video, I would like to contact W/Cdr Nicolson’s nephew, Jim, who spoke at your function several years ago – 2015, I think. At this point, do you have any way of contacting Jim Nicolson? If so, would you kindly ask him to email me. He won’t regret it, I guarantee. Many thanks.

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