African Studies / Biography
Few pioneers could have had as eventful life as Richard Granville Nicholson. Of Irish ancestry, he fought in the Eastern Cape, was a hunter, a farmer in the Northern Transvaal, Intelligence officer together with Selous in the Pioneer Column in the annexation of Rhodesia, and member of the local ‘peace-keeping’ commandos. He fought, and was taken prisoner by, the British in the Boer-War, represented his country in Parliament for several years, and yet again in the 1915-1917 engagement in the (then) German South West Africa, where he was awarded the OBE.
When he died, inn 1931, 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. He had a wonderful influence over the natives at a time when their contact with Europeans was slight, and though the most remote and well-nigh inaccessible fastnesses of the North he rode fearlessly and unmolested’.