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"Richard Granville Nicholson was born at Rondebosch, Cape Town, on 8 March 1859, son of John Granville Nicholson. He was
educated in Cape Town and moved to the Transvaal in 1876 where he joined the Diamond Fields Horse
. He took part in the Gaika and
Galeka wars 1877-78, and the Griqualand rebellion of February 1878. According to the South African Who’s Who 1931-32, he also
served in the ‘Zulu War of 1879-80
at Kambula and Ziobanne. Assegai wound at latter place. Seccocoeni 1880, Basuto, 1881. Mapoch
1883.’ He accompanied Major Granville when he escorted Empress Eugenie through portion of Zululand in 1880 to visit the grave of
her son, the Prince Imperial.
Nicholson raised a Boer expeditionary party to enter Mashonaland in 1889-90, but was persuaded by Cecil Rhodes to join the Pioneer
Column instead. He duly raised the Zoutpansberg section of the Corps, and led it south-west to Mafeking in May 1890 in the rank of
Lieutenant and Intelligence Officer. He returned to South Africa soon after the disbandment of the Pioneer Corps.
He fought for the Z.A.R. during the Boer War, serving with his scouts in Natal, and later as Staff Officer to General Beyers. He was a
Member of the Legislative Assembly, first Transvaal Parliament, 1907. He was returned unopposed for Waterberg in the first Union
Parliament, 1910. Served in German South-West Africa in 1914-15 as a Major in the 3rd Mounted Brigade, being mentioned in
despatches (London Gazette 22 August 1918) and awarded the O.B.E. in June 1919.
Major Nicholson died at his farm, Mathiba’s Kraal, Pietersburg, on 17 September 1931, when newspapers all over the country carried
reports that typically described him as ‘probably the best known man in the Northern Transvaal, a mighty hunter, a friend of Selous,
who knew the Northern part of South Africa as very few indeed knew it.’
In addition to the O.B.E. and Zulu War Medal, Nicholson received the Union Medal 1910, the Anglo-Boer War medal, 1914-15 Star
trio, the B.S.A. Co. medal for Mashonaland 1890, and most probably the Cape General Service Medal. Some of these remain with his
descendants in South Africa."