Nicolas was born in 1900 into a modest family in the French Beauce, his father being a farmer and his mother a baker. Being a turbulent child, his father enrolled him in the volunteer gendarmerie of Sainte-Maure-Et-Touraine between 1912 and 1914. He was mobilised as a member of the gendarmerie and incorporated into the 20th platoon of the 358th line infantry regiment of the 12th infantry division. He survived the Battle of the Marne and the Battle of Verdun, earning him the nickname 'Ken the Survivor'. He is known in his regiment to do a number of stupid things defying all reason to the great displeasure of his hierarchy but Nicolas "Likes to piss off his hierarchy in this shitty war" he will say to which he will add "Anyway it is me who has the machine gun of the platoon, the sergeant has only to come to see me if he is not happy". He saved many of his comrades and in particular a girl called Eugénie Grandet during the battle of Verdun, after which they became friends. It will be on September 18, 1918 that he will be made his greatest blow with the nose of his comrades amazed, indeed he will make explode a cow by putting a hand grenade in its mouth, he will draw from business by saying to his superior "Yes but the cow it badly looked at me, I just returned to him the change of its part".He will kill a staggering number of Germans with his machine gun.