Ross Nichols – Chronology

Ross was a teacher concerned with the process of education – not a guru trying to change the world. He offered culture rather than charisma, and although charisma may be superficially more appealing, in the end it is the culture in a person that endures. It is the gifts of their culture that become their contribution to the world that outlasts their mortal lives. The legacy that some people leave to the world is obvious, and often their contribution is recognised before they die. But others – such as Ross – contribute in a way that is more hidden. It is as if they plant seeds during their lifetime that only flower when they have long left this earth…
Philip Carr-Gomm, ‘Journeys of the Soul’ – A Biography of Ross Nichols

1902 Philip Peter Ross Nichols born in Norwich, Norfolk, 28 June, one of four children
1914-1918 The First World War. Ross is 12-16 yrs old. Family lives in Cornwall then Somerset
1919–1920 At boarding school in Oxford – Bloxham School
1921–1924 Reading History at St.John’s College Cambridge
1924-1939 15 years of journalism, poetry writing, teaching. Probably takes life-drawing classes. His poetry is published in Horizon, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry (London) and Poetry (Scotland), the New Saxon and the New English Weekly, and reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement, The Listener, The Birmingham Post, Scrutiny, the Yorkshire Post, the Manchester Evening News, New English Weekly, and Poetry Quarterly. Joins the Naturist community of Spielplatz mid-1930s. His father dies aged 78 in 1935
1939 Visits Scotland – his account is published in 1941 as Sassenach Stray. Visits Malta
1940 Becomes Principal of private college – ‘Jimmy’s’
1941 Sassenach Stray and Prose Chants & Proems published
At some time during the war Ross’ brother Francis is killed as a result of friendly fire
1946 The Cosmic Shape published with James Kirkup. Ancient Druid Order Chief George Watson MacGregor Reid dies
1947 Seasons at War published (from a war journal). Leaves Spielplatz Naturist community, and transfers allegiance to Gerald Gardner’s club – the Five Acres Naturist Club (probably this year, but certainly from 1957). Between now and 1949 buys 9.5 acres of woodland in Buckinghamshire for private retreats.
1948 An influential book for Ross is published- Robert Graves’ The White Goddess
1949 Mother dies aged 88. Becomes Assistant Editor of ‘The Occult Observer – A Quarterly Journal of Occultism, Art & Philosophy
1951 Last Witchcraft Act in Britain repealed. Visits Italy.
1952 Edits and publishes The History & Practice of Magic in two vols.
1954 Publication of Witchcraft Today by Gerald Gardner, edited by Ross. Joins The Ancient Druid Order
1957–1967 Works on The Land of the White Bull
1959 The Meaning of Witchcraft, by Gerald Gardner published – includes references to Ross
1962 Visits Ireland to lecture at the Theosophical Society in Dublin
1963 Travels with ADO Chief to Breton Gorsedd and is ordained Archdeacon of Ancient Celtic Church
1964 Gardner dies. ADO Chief Robert MacGregor Reid dies. Archbishop Tugdual dies. Ross founds The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids
1967 Visits Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and probably the Breton Gorsedd at Paimpont in Britanny
1970 Visits the Boyne Valley and Huntington Castle, Clonegal, in Ireland
1971 Submits Land of the White Bull to publishers. Starts work on The Book of Druidry
1973 Visits Paul Bouchet, Druid Chief of the College des Gaules, in France, with Vera Chapman
1974 Visits Bulgaria. Finishes The Book of Druidry
1975 Dies of a heart attack at a friend’s house in London 30th April