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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pte Herbert Higgleton 20th Hussars Died 14th November 1914

Will O'Brien

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As per CWGC


Initials: H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: 20th Hussars

Date of Death: 14/11/1914

Service No: 4531

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 5.


& the memorial information.


Country: Belgium

Visiting Information: Panel Numbers quoted at the end of each entry relate to the panels dedicated to the Regiment with which the casualty served. In some instances, where a casualty is recorded as attached to another Regiment, his name may appear within their Regimental Panels. Please refer to the on-site Memorial Register Introduction. The Addenda Panel lists those service personnel whose details are awaiting addition to the Regimental Panels. Steps on either side of the memorial leading to the rear of the memorial, make wheelchair access to the rear impossible. There is however, a slope at the side of the memorial which gives wheelchair users some access but due to the incline, it may not be possible to ascend/descend unaided.

Location Information: Ypres (now Ieper) is a town in the Province of West Flanders. The Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town on the road to Menin (Menen) and Courtrai (Kortrijk). Each night at 8 pm the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate while members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches.

Historical Information: The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war. The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele. The German offensive of March 1918 met with some initial success, but was eventually checked and repulsed in a combined effort by the Allies in September. The battles of the Ypres Salient claimed many lives on both sides and it quickly became clear that the commemoration of members of the Commonwealth forces with no known grave would have to be divided between several different sites. The site of the Menin Gate was chosen because of the hundreds of thousands of men who passed through it on their way to the battlefields. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties before 16 August 1917. Those United Kingdom and New Zealand servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot, a site which marks the furthest point reached by Commonwealth forces in Belgium until nearly the end of the war. Other New Zealand casualties are commemorated on memorials at Buttes New British Cemetery and Messines Ridge British Cemetery. The YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL now bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield with sculpture by Sir William Reid-Dick, was unveiled by Lord Plumer in July 1927.

No. of Identified Casualties: 54323

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Given the lack of information on the CWGC site Herbert is somewhat illusive. There is no Herbert Higgleton listed on the 1901 census. Given when he died, I'm thinking possibly a Reserve & could have been serving in the Army abroad in 1901 (either in India or South Africa)

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FreeBMD only list the births of 2 Herbert Higgleton's. The first is way too old to be the ours. The other is a good prospect being born in the March quarter of 1881. The birth was registered in Lexham, Essex. This would make him 33 in 1914 & 20 in 1901 (so my theory of him being abroad with the army still holds water)

Also have found a marriage for Herbert Higgleton in the December quarter of 1910 when he married Emily Sharp. The marriage was registered in Croydon.

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Have had better luck with our Herbert Higgleton who was born in 1881 using the 1881 census. He is on there as a 3 month old, living at Pump Path, Chapel, Essex with his family.

The family consists of his father John Higgleton a Carman originally from White Colne who was aged 38, his mother Hannah who was a year younger than her husband & a native of Newton in Suffolk. Herbert also had five elder siblings - four brothers Arthur aged 12, Edgar aged 8, Frederick aged 5 & Harry aged 2. His sister was called Alice & she was 10 years old. All the children were born in Chapel except the eldest two who were born in Wakes Colne.

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Another look at FreeBMD cross referencing with the family & I have found the entry for Herbert’s father birth in the June quarter of 1842 – His full name was John Jeremiah Higgleton. There is also a record of his parents marriage in 1868 – John Higgleton & Hannah Maria Seggars which would be a few months before the birth of the eldest child Arthur. John Higgleton appears to have died in the June quarter of 1915. Arthur’s birth is registered in the December quarter of 1868, Alice’s in the September quarter of 1870, Edgar’s in the September quarter of 1873, Frederick in the June quarter of 1875 (his name is down as Charles Frederick – Pretty sure it’s the brother as on the 1881 census he’s listed as Frederick C. Higgleton) & Harry who’s birth was registered in the December quarter of 1878

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These Higgleton’s seem an interesting family – Herbert’s sister Alice was married to a Charles Gilbert Webb in the March quarter of 1891 – The is also a registration of a birth of a baby in the March quarter of 1890 (the previous year). The baby was named Charles Webb Higgleton – I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Edgar’s marriage to an Edith Bone was registered in the September quarter of 1896. Harry was married in the June quarter of 1910 to Agnes Louisa Godfrey. Both Edgar & Harry have children registered subsequent to their marriages – Stanley born in 1912 & Gilbert born in 1920 were both Edgar’s sons & Jack born in 1911, Nancy in 1913 & Wilfred in 1920 were Harry’s children.

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If I am correct & the Herbert Higgleton who married Emily Sharp in 1910 is our Herbert Higgleton then there is a little more tragedy within the family. Flight Lieutenant Joseph Herbert Higgleton 224 Squadron RAF who was killed on Christmas Eve 1941 was the son of a Herbert & Emily Higgleton. Joseph was aged 28 at the time of his death which makes his year of birth 1914, the same year as Herbert died...........Part of me wants me to be wrong in who Herbert & his family were, just so this final piece of the jigsaw isn't actually their's

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I was having a quick look at the Medal Roll index to try & determine whether any of Herbert's brothers served. Whilst I lucked out there I did find Charles Webb Higgleton who served with the Norfolk Regiment. I'm still convinced this is the son of Herbert's sister Alice.

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  • 6 years later...

I realise this is an extremely old topic, but today being the commemoration of 100 years since the start of WW1 I was prompted to perform an internet search for my Great Grandfather and found this thread.

Herbert Higgleton was my Grandmother (Maisie Emily Higgleton's) father, who she sadly lost in WW1 when she was only 3. She later went on to lose her brother, Joseph Herbert Higgleton in 1941 in WW2.

My mother has memories of her grandmother, Emily Annie Sharp (Herbert Higgleton's wife) who sadly lost her husband in the first war, and her only son in the second. My brother was named in memory of Joseph Higgleton.

I never met my great grandmother, sadly, she died just before my mother and father married. She had later remarried a distant relative called Arthur Reeves, who we knew as Pop and we spent many family holidays with him in Weymouth - he was a really lovely and special man. I have his diaries describing how he first fell in love with Emily when he was about 15 - and she must have been about 30 at the time and already a widow with two very young children.

If you see this thread, please feel free to get in touch for more information and to let me know your relation to Herbert.


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