Rank: Lance Corporal
Unit: 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army
Awarded: 22nd June 1945
The following details are given in the London Gazette of 26th July, 1940:
On the 21st May, 1940, Lance-corporal Nicholls was commanding a section in the right-forward platoon of his company when the company was ordered to counter-attack. At the very start of the advance he was wounded in the arm by shrapnel, but continued to lead his section forward; as the company came over a small ridge, the enemy opened heavy machine-gun fire at close range. Lance-corporal Nicholls, realising the danger to the company, immediately seized a Bren gun and dashed forward towards the machine guns, firing from the hip. He succeeded in silencing first one machine-gun and then two other machine guns, in spite of being again severely wounded. Lance-corporal Nicholls then went on up to a higher piece of ground and engaged the German infantry massed behind, causing many casualties, and continuing to fire until he had no more ammunition left. He was wounded at least four times in all, but absolutely refused to give in. There is no doubt that his gallant action was instrumental in enabling his company to reach its objective, and in causing the enemy to fall back across the River Scheldt. Lance-Corporal Nicholls has since been reported to have been killed in action.*
*Harry Nicholls was captured when he ran out of ammunition and survived the war.