CFHS code : MG100

Parish : St Mary the Great

Inscription : Royal Engineers Crest 203937 Sapper G H B NICE Royal Engineers 21 July 1919 age 34

Monument : Headstone (war grave)

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202101, 0.13812016 – click here for location

Nice grave
Nice CWGC headstone


Located in the parish area of St Mary the Great, ten rows west of the eastern path, close to the boundary line with Holy Sepulchre.


[regimental badge]
203937 Sapper G. H. B. Nice
Royal Engineers
21st July 1919 age 34′

“He liveth in our hearts”

George Henry Basil Nice (1885-1919)

George was born on 10 June 1885 in Frenze, Norfolk.  He was the fourth of seven children born to Frederick Nice (1834-1911) and Adelaide Nice (née Shildrick) (1851-1936).  The family lived at Scole Green, Scole, Norfolk.  By 1901 the family had moved to Bacton, Suffolk.  The following year George had joined the Cambridge builders’ firm, Rattee and Kett.  By 1911 George had left home and was living as a boarder at 42 Station Road, Cambridge.  On 25 July 1911 George married Selina Mann (1882-1961) at Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge.  They had two children: Hilda Evelyn (1912-1998); and George Frederick William (1918-1984).  In 1912 George joined the 3rd Cambridgeshire Suffolks with whom he served for four years.  His employers then applied for George to be exempt from any further military service as they argued that he alone was capable of working the mill machinery.  George was in charge of the firm’s wood stock and mill.  He was initially granted an exemption but eventually George enlisted in 1916 as Sapper 203937, 45th Field Company, Royal Engineers.  By this time he was living at 67 Blinco Grove, Cambridge.  At the beginning of 1919 he was demobilised but was sent to Papworth due to his ill-health.  He died there on 21 July 1919 at the age of 34.  Although he was buried in this cemetery he was also commemorated in Cambridge on the war memorials at St John’s and at the Cambridge Guildhall.

Messrs. Rattee and Kett applied for George Henry Basil Nice (31), carpenter and joiner, in charge of the firm’s wood stock and mill.  He had been employed for 14 years, and he alone was capable of working the mill machinery.  For four years Nice had served in the 3rd Cambs. Suffolks, and now if exempted he was willing to join the V.T.C. – Mr. Sahdbolt: This man is only 31. – Applicant: Well, he can’t help that. – The Military Representative said that the firm had a fine record. – A Month’s exemption was allowed.

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 25 August 1916

The funeral of Mr. George H. B. Nice, of 67 Blinco-grove, took place on Saturday in Mill-road Cemetery.  Mr. Nice was only 34 years of age.  For many years he was employed by Messrs. Rattee and Kett, and in 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, from which he was demobilised seven months ago.  Owing to unsatisfactory health, he was sent after his discharge to Papworth.

The first part of the service took place at St John’s Church, Hills-road, and was conducted by the Rev. G. F. Jackson.  The mourners present at the cemetery were: Mrs. Nice (widow), Mr. W. and Mr. L. Nice (brothers), Miss Nice (…), Mr. and Mrs. Harper and Mrs Hart (brother and sisters-in-law), and Miss Hart (niece).  Employees of Messrs. Rattee and Kett were present to represent the firm, and many beautiful wreaths were received.

The coffin, of heavy English elm, bore the inscription, “George Henry Basil Nice, died July 21st, 1919, aged 34 years.”

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Ellis Merry, of Abbey-walk.

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 1 August 1919


Census: 1891, 1901, and 1911

England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915

England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Norfolk, England, Church of England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915

England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915

England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966

UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current

British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 25 August 1916

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 1 August 1919

By Emma Easterbrook

George Henry Basil Nice