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Life and work
Nicholls was born in Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...
, the son of Charlotte (née Johnson) and Arthur N. Nicholls, a professional photographer. Nicholls was apprenticed to his photographer father on the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...
and in Huddersfield
Huddersfield is a large market town within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England, situated halfway between Leeds and Manchester. It lies north of London, and south of Bradford, the nearest city....
before setting up as a professional photographer in Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...
. During the Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...
he worked for the London-based periodical South Africa
He then returned to England as a freelance, specialising in pictures of social and sporting events for magazines such as The Tatler
Tatler has been the name of several British journals and magazines, each of which has viewed itself as the successor of the original literary and society journal founded by Richard Steele in 1709. The current incarnation, founded in 1901, is a glossy magazine published by Condé Nast Publications...
, The Illustrated London News
and Black and White
Black and White: A Weekly Illustrated Record and Review was a British illustrated weekly periodical founded in 1891 by Charles Norris Williamson. In 1912 it was incorporated with The Sphere....
, being one of the first photographers to make a living from documentary photography.
During World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
he worked in government information, devoting his later life primarily to his family. He had five children, including noted character actor Anthony Nicholls
Anthony Nicholls was an English film, television, and stage actor.-Life and career:Nicholls was born Sydney Horace Nicholls on 16 October 1902 in Windsor, Berkshire, England, the son of Florence and photojournalist Horace Nicholls. He served in the Royal Artillery...
. He died of diabetes.