John Nicol - The Unknown Warrior

Devonshire Park Theatre
John Nicol - The Unknown Warrior

During the First World War, over one million British Empire soldiers were killed. More than a century later, over half a million still have no known grave.

Countless families were left without closure as their loved ones’ remains were either never recovered, or never identified. The scale of the fighting, the destructive power of high explosives, and relentless military engagement, meant that names were left without bodies, and bodies, or fragments of bodies, without names

John Nichol, a former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War prisoner-of-war, embarks on a poignant journey to uncover the emotional tale of the Unknown Warrior interred in Westminster Abbey to represent all the missing, emphasising our enduring need to honour and mourn the fallen.

The theatre tour promises a remarkable, fascinating, and deeply moving experience, especially for fans of 20th-century and military history. John Nichol will guide audiences through an emotional and personal journey, retracing the Unknown Warrior’s path from the battlefields of Northern France to Westminster Abbey, where he was laid to rest 'Among the Kings'.

The story of The Unknown Warrior will be vividly portrayed with haunting visuals and an evocative soundscape, transporting audiences back to a time of intense public sorrow and reflection, capturing the fervour of generations past.

But how did this plan come to fruition? Who was this 'unknown' man? How was he selected, and from where? What were the logistical challenges of repatriating a single body while preserving its anonymity?

To shed light on this century-old story, John retraces the Unknown Warrior’s journey home through discussions with relatives of those involved, research from long-forgotten archives, and insights from modern experts. By speaking with those who have recently lost loved ones in more contemporary conflicts, he reflects on our ongoing need for a tangible place of rest to truly mourn the fallen. As Remembrance Sunday approaches, he examines how individuals and nations have commemorated the sacrifices of the dead throughout history.

Above all, "The Unknown Warrior" is a quest to understand the true essence of camaraderie, sacrifice, and remembrance.

“It is rare to find a tale so strange, intimate and human yet at the same time so enormous, so global in its importance. Yet again John Nichol impresses us with his ability to weave together the little details and the grand narrative.”

Dan Snow, Historian. Advance review of The Unknown Warrior – A Personal Journey of Discovery and Remembrance.