John Sanctuary Nicholson

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Brigadier-General John Sanctuary Nicholson, CB, CMG, CBE, DSO (19 May 1863 – 21 February 1924) was a British soldier and politician. He was a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1921 to 1924.

Born in Kensington, London, the son of William Nicholson and his wife Isabella.[1] He was educated at Harrow and then in 1882 to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.[1] He was commissioned in 7th Hussars in February 1884 and in 1886 he spent eight years in India with his regiment before in 1894 being sent to Natal.[1]

The 7th Hussars joined a force at Mafeking to suppress a native rising in Matabeleland.[1] During these operations he raised and commanded a Corps of British South Africa Police (BSAP).[1] He became Commandant-General of the BSAP and Inspector-General of Volunteers in Rhodesia from 1898 until 1903.[1] The Second Boer War took place in neighbouring South Africa from 1899 to June 1902, and to recognize his contribution, Nicholson was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the South Africa honours list published on 26 June 1902.[2] In 1903 he succeeded Baden-Powell as Inspector-General of South African Constabulary and retired from the post as a Colonel in 1907.[1]

With a father and brother both being members of parliament Nicholson contested a seat in East Dorset in the 1910 general election.[1] He lost by 426 votes to Captain Guest but after a petition Guest was unseated.[1] Nicholson stood again as a Conservative candidate in a by-election against Guests brother Henry Guest but was defeated again by a small margin.[1] In the second general election of 1910 in December, he tried to get elected at Stafford but was defeated by 755 votes.[1]

During the First World War he joined the British Expeditionary Force and from April 1915 to December 1918 was Base Commandant at Calais.[1] He had been promoted to Brigadier-General in 1916 and retired from the Army in 1920.[1]

In In 1921, he was elected the Member of Parliament for the Westminster Abbey constituency in a by-election following the death of the incumbent MP William Burdett-Coutts. He was re-elected in the following two general elections in 1922 and 1923. Nicholson, who had never married, died on 21 February 1924 of pneumonia at his house at South Audley Street, Mayfair aged 60.[3] A by-election was held to replace him as a MP.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "General Nicholson. Soldier, Organizer And Politician., The Abbey Division.". Obituaries. The Times (43582). London. 22 February 1924. col A, p. 17. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27448. pp. 4191–4192. 26 June 1902.
  3. ^ "General Nicholson, M P.". Obituaries. The Times (43582). London. 22 February 1924. col F, p. 12. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Burdett-Coutts
Member of Parliament for Westminster Abbey
Succeeded by
Otho Nicholson