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Remembered Today:

Maj John Arthur HIGGON


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I'm trying to piece together any information on Major JA Higgon of the Pembrokeshire Imperial Yeomanry.

The little I do know is that he was made a Major - "Pembrokeshire (Castlemartin)" - on the 26 Aug 14 and was attached to the Australian Imperial Force on the 8 Jun 16 and killed in action on the 19 Jul 16.

I'm trying to piece together his (or at least his Units) earlier movements from the outbreak of war till his attachment to the AIF.

I found this:-

1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry, this is the original, 'first line' regiment -

August 1914: moved to Hereford after mobilising, but by the end of the month had moved to Thetford (Norfolk) where brigade (South Wales Mounted Brigade) came under orders of 1st Mounted Division. The brigade then moved to the Aylsham area and the regiment went to nearby Haveringham and Heydon.

November 1915: dismounted.

March 1916: moved to Egypt. On arrival the brigade (South Wales Mounted Brigade) merged with Welsh border Mounted Brigade and formed the 4th Dismounted Brigade.

Is it correct?

Is there any way of finding out what Squadron he may have been posted to, if in fact he was an OC. I'm unfamiliar as to how the Territorial Force were organised, are there any clues that may help? Do you know of any War Diaries?

Also, I'm most interested in his earlier career in The Royal Welsh Fusiliers (c.1894 - 1909) and later (8 Mar 10) in the Territorials as Captain with the Pembroke Yeomanry.

The only info I've been able to secure is from the London Gazette, so I'm aware of his promotions and secondments, though I cannot find anything on his appointment from Cadet (Royal Military College, Sandhurst) to 2nd Lieutenant.

Any help is very much appreciated.

Dan

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Dan,

He was definitely with the 1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry during June 1915, serving as a Major, and would have been among them when they went to Egypt in March 1916.

You'd have to get hold of his service papers to see which Squadron he was with, as he may have been among the original Squadron which was transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps, which could have begun his ties to the AIF?

He must have been an obvious candidate (with his lengthy experience) to have been a useful addition to the 32nd Bn AIF upon the doubling of the AIF in Egypt. His brother, Major Archibald Bellars Higgon, had been killed at Gallipoli the previous year, and at the time the Pembroke Yeomanry were just posted on the Suez Canal Defences, so John may have seen this chance of joining the AIF as a quicker way to see some action.

The movements of the Pembroke Yeomanry up until they arrived in Egypt are as it says in your first quote, and it was in Norfolk that the men signed up for overseas service (or not), and were then shuffled about between the 1/1st and the 2/1st Pembroke Yeomanry, who remained on home service.

Cheers,

Diggler.

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Dan

Bit more info

Captain John Arthur Higgon1

b. 12 November 1873, d. 19 July 1916

Captain John Arthur Higgon was born on 12 November 1873.1 He was the son of John Donald George Higgon.1 He married Lurline May Moses, daughter of Hon. Henry Moses, on 27 July 1900 at Hong Kong.2 He died on 19 July 1916 at age 42 at France, killed in action.1

Captain John Arthur Higgon fought in the First World War.1 He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.1

Citations

  1. [S35] Peter Townend, editor, Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 18th edition, 3 volumes (London, England: Burke's Peerage Ltd, 1965-1972), volume 3, page 457. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Landed Gentry, 18th ed.
  2. [S355] Old White Lodge, online http://www.oldwhitelodge.com.

From http://www.oldwhitelodge.com/ - Charles Bancroft Mystery page there are a few more details about his marriage to Lurline May Moses and a photo of him with the 2nd Bn RWF.

If you dont get any joy here with details about him in the RWF try http://rwf-forum.co.uk/

Steve

post-73561-0-45459000-1310999857.jpg

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Hi Steve,

I've seen the Red Cross files but not the United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials, so thank you very much. I'd be keen to have a look at the stained glass memorial of his, it sounds most interesting.

He also has a 23 page National Archive of Australia file too:

J A HIGGON

So, there's more on him in the Australian Archives for just over one months service with the AIF than I've so far managed to track down through the National Archives, and it's all free too!

Dan,

He was definitely with the 1/1st Pembroke Yeomanry during June 1915, serving as a Major, and would have been among them when they went to Egypt in March 1916.

You'd have to get hold of his service papers to see which Squadron he was with, as he may have been among the original Squadron which was transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps, which could have begun his ties to the AIF?

He must have been an obvious candidate (with his lengthy experience) to have been a useful addition to the 32nd Bn AIF upon the doubling of the AIF in Egypt. His brother, Major Archibald Bellars Higgon, had been killed at Gallipoli the previous year, and at the time the Pembroke Yeomanry were just posted on the Suez Canal Defences, so John may have seen this chance of joining the AIF as a quicker way to see some action.

The movements of the Pembroke Yeomanry up until they arrived in Egypt are as it says in your first quote, and it was in Norfolk that the men signed up for overseas service (or not), and were then shuffled about between the 1/1st and the 2/1st Pembroke Yeomanry, who remained on home service.

Cheers,

Diggler.

Thanks Diggler,

I've started to search about the National Archive but find myself quite lost at times, so as yet haven't located any pers file.

It would appear that John Higgon's brother would have had a bit of contact with the Australians too, Archibald Higgon ( AB Higgon ) is buried at 'unofficially buried in the officers cemetery near No.2 Post Anzac' (Anzac, Gallipoli) and John married an Australian girl in Hong-Kong either on 27 June or July 1900 (both months are quoted) and of course later being attached, maybe it was because of his wife that he sort (if indeed he did) to became involved with them.

I'd be most interested to know if he had been part of the ICC prior to going over to the 32nd Bn. Though the 32nd Bn lost officers to other units they weren't part of the doubling of the AIF.

Thank you for your input, some very interesting leads.

Dan

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The movements of the Pembroke Yeomanry up until they arrived in Egypt are as it says in your first quote...

His MIC gives his date of entry into Egypt as 4/3/16. Reads "Decd 20/7/16" Followed by what appears to be a separate note "KinA".

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His MIC gives his date of entry into Egypt as 4/3/16. Reads "Decd 20/7/16" Followed by what appears to be a separate note "KinA".

Great! Thanks Verrico,

Good to have his date of arrival in Egypt.

It is most certain he was killed on the 19th July 1916. Higgon's (Australian Archive) file has a 'Report' whereby the CO 32nd Bn reports this death as 19th July, but for some reason GHQ, 2nd Army records him as KIA 20th July 1916, and according to the CWGC, the 20th is what is marked on his head-stone (Rue Petillon Military Cemetery, Grave 44, Row D, Plot 2). His file also has a notation (obviously due to the conflicting dates) - "COs Report taken as Correct"

Another interesting note on his file is a Graves Registration Report (7 Oct 16) -

"A cross has been erected to the memory of this officer over the above grave, Rue Petillon Military cemetery, 4 miles SW of Armentieres, but body has not yet been recovered"

Dan

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Hi Dan

According to the CWGC site he is buried in RATION FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, LA CHAPELLE-D'ARMENTIERES VIII. C. 15.

The present cemetery was begun (as Ration Farm New Military Cemetery) in October 1915 and remained in use until October 1918. It was very greatly increased after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small cemeteries on the battlefield.

I assume that Rue Petillon Military cemetery was one of these. You can get a photo of his headstone from The War Graves Photgraphic Project. http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=2358671

Or this one from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=12729425&PIpi=22184027

Steve

12729425_125492227285.jpg

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Pleased to be able to help, Dan.

That's odd: Rue-Petillon seems to be a large cemetery in its own right. Perhaps his body was recovered a distance from where they expected it to be.

Louise

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Hi Dan

According to the CWGC site he is buried in RATION FARM MILITARY CEMETERY, LA CHAPELLE-D'ARMENTIERES VIII. C. 15.

The present cemetery was begun (as Ration Farm New Military Cemetery) in October 1915 and remained in use until October 1918. It was very greatly increased after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small cemeteries on the battlefield.

I assume that Rue Petillon Military cemetery was one of these. You can get a photo of his headstone from The War Graves Photgraphic Project. http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=2358671

Steve

Hi Steve,

You're quite right he is buried at Ration Farm, I mistakenly stated his original burial site at Rue Petillon Military Cemetery. He is quoted as being there as late as August 1921 - SEE PAGE 4 of his file (I can't get the link to attach) - Why would they move him to a new cemetery as Reu Petillon remained in use?

The plot thickens....

Dan

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Dan

The link here - http://www.llanegwad...olton_manor.htm relates to Scolton Manor, where JA Higgon lived. According to the article there is a photo of him in his uniform hanging on the wall. The house is now a museum so maybe if you contacted them they could provide some info.

Also the family deposited personal papers in Pembrokeshire Record Office http://www.archivesw...d=12355&expand=

Found this image of John Higgon on Google, looks very similar to the one on the Hong Kong photo

post-73561-0-55181700-1311286482.jpg

Steve

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Dan

The link here - http://www.llanegwad...olton_manor.htm relates to Scolton Manor, where JA Higgon lived. According to the article there is a photo of him in his uniform hanging on the wall. The house is now a museum so maybe if you contacted them they could provide some info.

Also the family deposited personal papers in Pembrokeshire Record Office http://www.archivesw...d=12355&expand=

Found this image of John Higgon on Google, looks very similar to the one on the Hong Kong photo

post-73561-0-55181700-1311286482.jpg

Steve

Thanks Steve,

Yet again, you've been a great help

Dan

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  • 11 years later...

Hello

I don’t know if you are still looking for more information.
Check the old irish census records

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Cork/Cork_No__3_Urban/Shrewsbury_Villas/387019/

Maj John Higgon lived in Cork and was stationed at what is now Cork Collins Barracks. His house was a mere 3 minutes walk away. 

His son was born in China which would align with his marriage there.
He certainly travelled alot!

Best regards

Ursula

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