Born West Knottingley, Yorkshire, on 07/09/1883. Son of Nicholas Cawthorn, and Fanny Dawson, of 10, River Head, Great Driffield. The fourth of seven children.
His father was a Keelman, owning the 60 ton barge “Mary”, conveying coal and lime, between Hull, Wakefield, Knottingley and Sheffield. Nicholas worked with his father on the barge up to the outbreak of war.
Nicholas Cawthorn enlisted at Driffield, on 07/09/1914, giving the younger age of 29. He was 5 foot 7.5 inches tall.
He joined “D” Company of the 5th Yorkshire Regiment at the Regimental Depot in Scarborough and then went to Newcastle where the battalion and whole Northumbrian Division were billeted. the 5th Yorkshire Battalion left England, from Folkestone Kent and landed in Boulogne, France on 18/04/1915. They were part of the Second battle of Ypres (22nd April -27 May 1915) and fought at St Julien, defending the canal there.
Nicholas Cawthorn, received severe shrapnel wounds to his right jaw and shoulder, on the 25/04/1914. His seven days of overseas service was over and he would never return to his regiment again. He was invalided to England on 29/04/1915 and spent many months in hospital, suffering greatly.
He was discharged from the army as unfit, on 16/12/1915. His jaw had been blown away. He was unable to chew food and could only live om liquid nourishment. he could not move his jaw which affected his ability to talk. He returned home to Driffield, facially disfigured and a broken man. Nicholas never recovered and succumbed to Tuberculosis. His body weakened by his war injuries.
He died at home, 10, River Head, Great Driffield, on 07/04/1917. His death certificate recorded death by TB, following wounds on face and neck during active service.
He was buried at Driffield Cemetery, with full military honours, on Wednesday, 11/04/1917.