Robert was born in 1893 at Queenscliffe, Victoria to Captain Holdsworth Nicholson and his wife Catherine nee Mitchell. Both his parents were deceased when he enlisted at Inverell on 6 December 1915. At this time he was a twenty two year old Labourer at Mandoe, Bonshaw, north of Inverell. His younger brother, eighteen year old William Henry Nicholson, a Boundary rider at Kennelworth Bonshaw, had already enlisted at Inverell in August 1915 and was attached to the 3rd Battalion.
Robert joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs when they left Inverell together on 12 January 1916 on their way to the Narrabri and Armidale camps. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, A Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford NSW prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After nine weeks at sea, his Battalion arrived in England where further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain before going to France in November.
During October 1917 Robert was wounded in action and invalided to Queen Mary’s Military Hospital in England with a gunshot wound to his chest. Four months later he returned to France where in April 1918 he was again wounded and invalided back to England with a severe gunshot wound to his hip and head. He returned to Australia in September. Robert’s brother William was already home having been ill with broncho-pneumonia in France and hospitalised in London at the end of 1917. During the 1930s Robert was living in the Dalby area of Queensland. He died at Caboolture in 1976.
Privates Robert and William Nicholson are remembered at Inverell where their names are inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll and also on the Bonshaw Honor Roll.