Horace HIGGS


HIGGS, Horace

Service Numbers: 1050, 3707
Enlisted: 6 April 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Stoke-on-Trent, England, 1884
Home Town: Coonawarra, Wattle Range, South Australia
Schooling: Pulteney Street School, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Mounted police officer
Died: Died of wounds, Belgium, 7 October 1917
Cemetery: Hooge Crater Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Naracoorte and District Town Hall Honour Board WW1
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Bugler, SN 1050, 2nd Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse

World War 1 Service

6 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private
10 Feb 1917: Involvement Private, SN 3707, 6th Pioneer Battalion, Third Ypres
10 Feb 1917: Embarked Private, SN 3707, 6th Pioneer Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Adelaide
10 Feb 1917: Embarked Private, SN 3707, 8th Pioneer Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Adelaide
10 Feb 1917: Involvement Private, SN 3707, 8th Pioneer Battalion, Third Ypres
7 Oct 1917: Involvement Private, SN 3707, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by St Peter's Woodlands Grammar School

Horace Higgs was born in 1884. His service number was 3707. He fought in the First World War as a private. He went to school in Pulteney Street School. His last position was in the 10th infantry battalion. He died of wounds, in Belgium, 7 October 1917. Unfortunately he died at the age of 33 which is very young and he could of lived a long happy life his family. His cemetery was Hooge Crater Cemetery, Passchendaele, Flanders, Belgium.

Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Bugler in the Boer War, age 18, clerk, single. 

Enlisted AIF 6 April 1916, 10th Battalion, wounded in action Broodseinde Ridge 7 October 1917, died of wounds the same day.  

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks


HIGGS, Pte. John, 1108. 12th Bn. Killed in action 25th April, 1915. Age 51. Son of John and Hannah Higgs; husband of E. Higgs, of 202, Gillies St., Adelaide, South Australia. Native of Sutton Coldfield, England. Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli 35. Served for 3 years in the South Staffordshire Volunteer Battalion.

1108 Private John Higgs gave his age as 44 years 8 months when he enlisted in November 1914. He left Australia with the 12th Battalion, and was killed in action during the Landing on 25th April, 1915. He was the husband of Eunice Higgs, of Adelaide, South Australia, and stated that he been born Sutton Coldfield, England. Sutton Coldfield is now an affluent town in the City of Birmingham. His wife stated on his Roll of Honour form that he was 48 years old when he died and had been living in Australia for well over 20 years, however his marriage certificate indicates he was 51 years of age.

He was first reported as missing in action, 25-28 April 1915, and his fate was not confirmed as killed in action, 25 April 1915, until Board of Inquiry, over 12 months later, 5 June 1916. As he has no known grave he is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Various accounts of Higgs' death were forthcoming. 582 Private Charles G. Wightman, 12th Battalion: “Informant states that on the old firing line, behind Tasmania post, Gallipoli, Higgs was killed by a bullet wound in the forehead. A. Farnell, 12th Battalion, who told informant, was close to Higgs in the trench. A few hours after Farnell was himself hit and has been wounded since. His home is in Tasmania. Informant states that it is "generally" said Higgs was killed.” 1116 Private H. Pearse, 12th Battalion: “Witness said he is certain that Higgs was reported to Capt Rafferty as killed on the 2nd day after the landing. This fact was read at the first roll call on the Thursday of the first week when the first roll call was taken. Higgs and witness were in the same reinforcements and knew one another very well. Higgs was a tall man; he had once been a constable in Adelaide.”

On his attestation form he stated that he was married but separated, however Eunice Higgs made representations to have her name listed as next of kin. She produced a marriage certificate showing that his name was actually John Henry Higgs, married to Eunice Higgs at Stafford, England in 1889.  At first she received his identity disc; eventually she received his medals, and memorial plaque.

His son, 3707 Private Horace Higgs, 10th Battalion, AIF, died of wounds on the 7 October, 1917. He was also born in Birmingham, England. Horace had given is age on enlistment as 32, in April 1916, which was 12 months after his father was killed, about a 20 year age difference between father and son.

Horace had also served in the Boer War as a member of the 2nd Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse, a South Australian unit, which is further evidence that his father must have been much older than he stated.

He was married to Mary Higgs, of Glen Osmond, South Australia, and they had one boy and an unborn child on the way. Mary wrote in Horace’s roll of honour circular, “His father was killed at Gallipoli.”

Horace had left Adelaide in February 1917, and joined the 10th Battalion in France in August 1917. He was wounded when buried by a shell near Celtic Wood, and was according to a witness, dug out, unconscious, and handed over to stretcher bearers, but he apparently died in the Regimental Aid Post and was buried near Battalion Headquarters. His identity discs were sent home in June 1920, and it is assumed his body was recovered later and interred in the Hooge Crater Cemetery Zillebeke, Belgium.