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Driver Higgs

Christmas Day 1914

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Driver Higgs

On Christmas Day 1914 my step grandfather Frank Higgs (Driver Higgs No 54779 Royal Field Artillery) writes in his diary....

"Up at 5am into action,not much firing,had good dinner ..chicken,red wine,Christmas  pudding,beer,rum,biscuits.Received PC from Princess Mary and present"

At this time Frank was in and around Baillieu in France,He was a professional soldier having served in India before WW1 and was mobilised from Edinburgh in August 1914...from there to Ireland and then to France.He was in the 5th division (according to his diary...which goes from August 1 1914 to January 9 1915)

He survived the war and died in 1946

 

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phil andrade

That Christmas grub and booze sounds pretty lavish.  I wonder what his German counterparts were eating and drinking  that day.

 

This is only your fifth post, I see.

 

It’s a damned good one : welcome !

 

Happy Christmas to you, and all on GWF !

 

Phil

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Phil,

Yes, I agree. Well done, Driver Higgs!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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mancpal

It would be lovely to read more extracts from his diary, I find that personal diaries bring to life the soldiers point of view that  'official histories' and war diaries were never party to though equally if there is a section of the personal  diary missing then its to the WD's and histories we tend to turn.

I have an account written by my late wifes grandfather leading up to 1/7/16, there are things within it that I would love to verify as he wrote the account post-war, they include Chavasse VC*, the trialling of tanks in front of top brass and how they made 'jam tin' bombs.

Without both personal accounts and official accounts with which to compare our research hobby would have to rely on far less fact and far more supposition/guesswork.

YoHoHo  etc.

 

Simon

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battle of loos

good evening,

 

here are some pieces from my collection related to Christmas.

 

a small set surrounding a greeting card of the "IV Corps"

 

A MERRY XMA

The bomber's greeting

IV Corps 1915
 

- 3 Player's cards representing the badges of the 3 divisions of the IV Corps accompanied by cap badge - title - collar - button of the units present in these.

- 2 Bibles for soldiers including one provided by the YMCA.

- 1 handmade cross

- cigarette box or other supplied to troops at Christmas 1914
 

718331007_MERYXMAS-IVCorps(1).JPG.b065228f1c9025103dcae10d20ed4498.JPG

 

:poppy:

 

michel

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Driver Higgs

Merry Christmas to all!

I have a few mementoes of Franks apart from his diary (which was small enough to fit into his tunic breast pocket)...my cufflinks are small brass buttons from  his uniform,I've his 3 service medals (1914 Star,British war medal and Victory  medal...all known as Pip,Squeak and Wilfred! and stamped with his name and number) mounted up with a photograph of him in uniform on his wedding day to my Grandmother and a very battered Princess Mary Christmas box...which only had the small Christmas card in it.

Franks diary just has mundane every day happenings during the early days of WW1..apart from being a horse driver he was a batman to a lieutenant  in his battery....one diary entry is that he "sharpened the edge of Mr B's sword"...as my Dad said "y'dont want to go fighting the Huns machine guns with a blunt sword"!

As soon as I can suss out how to post up images on this forum I will!!

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Driver Higgs

New Years Day 1915

Driver Higgs writes...."up at 8am,rest day,went for walk to Neuve-Eglise"....that's it!

His last entries was Friday January 8/Saturday January 9...."up at 6am,on duty,up to knees in mud,wet through,feeling very happy".....and..."up at 6am,wet day,very sore heel,hardly able to walk"....that's the last we hear from him.

 

fh3.jpg

fh1.jpg

fh4.jpg

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Driver Higgs

FrankHiggs' home in Edina St,Edinburgh  is still there (y'can see it on "Google Maps"!)….I was up in Edinburgh last year and managed to get inside the block of tenements and wander about..quite a spooky feeling knowing I was inside the tenements where my step grandfather (and my Dad and the rest of the family) lived over a hundred years ago!

A diary entry on Wednesday January 6 1915 mentions he was in Ypres which I visited last year....Ypres is completely rebuilt after WW1 but I might have been within yards of where Frank was

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Driver Higgs

Having rummaged around cupboards and drawers I've found some more mementoes of Frank Higgs

His Princess Mary box is battered about...but it was his and issued to him at the front,the small envelope with his name on is from that box and had the card in from Princess Mary (its around somewhere!)….and the postcard showing all the troops was (allegedly!) taken in India..before WW1....Frank is 3rd from in from the top right

tin1.jpg

FH3 (2).jpg

FH1 (2).jpg

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RegHannay
On 24/12/2019 at 21:19, mancpal said:

It would be lovely to read more extracts from his diary, I find that personal diaries bring to life the soldiers point of view that  'official histories' and war diaries were never party to though equally if there is a section of the personal  diary missing then its to the WD's and histories we tend to turn.

I have an account written by my late wifes grandfather leading up to 1/7/16, there are things within it that I would love to verify as he wrote the account post-war, they include Chavasse VC*, the trialling of tanks in front of top brass and how they made 'jam tin' bombs.

Without both personal accounts and official accounts with which to compare our research hobby would have to rely on far less fact and far more supposition/guesswork.

YoHoHo  etc.

 

Simon

Hello Simon, I have just come across your entry on soldiers diaries bring to life the day to day living of the men at the front. I am at present entering extracts from my Grandfathers diary 1915/1916 as a blog "Only With Honour" on GWF. Have a look and hopefully enjoy.

Dave D

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mancpal

I will look out for it.

 

Simon

 

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PhilW

Christmas Day 1916 according to my Grandfather (RGA Somewhere near Ovillers shelling Beaumont Hamel in November)

Dec 24th          Xmas Eve. Peace on earth, goodwill toward men. Sounds very peaceful, this last lot of Christmas presents that have been dispatched to Fritz.

Xmas Day          Had a great day - one series of eating. Fine dinner and the boys had a supper.  

Menu

 Fish Cakes --------------

Turkey Pie Brussels Sprouts Potatoes --------------

Xmas Pudding ------------------

Apples                 Oranges               Nuts                      Figs                     Dates -----------

Toffee                

Cigarettes Chocolate          

Wine list

Vin Rouge

Vin Blanc

Biere

Then had a champion sing song that lasted till 2 a.m.

 Dec 26th          Jolly tired after last night. Quiet day. Bags of mud. 

 

If you would like to read his personal diary for 1915 and 1916 they are here

1915:-

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/file/?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Asc%3Aus%3A1b645f81-0d58-4b49-af50-bcf321ece74c&filetype=application%2Fpdf&size=13153330

1916:-

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/file/?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Asc%3Aus%3A3c974bab-1b94-4cfd-9e08-37d6256e3522&filetype=application%2Fpdf&size=12330117

 

Hope the links work!

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Robert Dunlop

The links take the user to an Adobe authentication page. There are options to sign in with a Google or Apple account. I tried the latter but Adobe then wanted to transfer my authentication details to its process. I declined, so cannot get access to the documents but thank you for the opportunity. This experience may help prepare others for what is required though.

 

Robert

Edited by Robert Dunlop

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