Thomas Albert Higgins

Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment)

Personal Details

Born:  4 May 1896 in Moreton Wood, Shropshire and baptised at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Calverhall, Shropshire on 25 June the same year.

Family: He was the fourth of nine children of Thomas Higgins, a farmer and milk seller, and his wife Alice Louisa, nee Faulkner. He married Emily Howell on 9 December 1933 at St. Thomas’s Church, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. We are unable to determine if there are any children for the marriage.

Residence: The family were living at Moreton Wood Farm, Prees, Wem, Shropshire in 1901; by 1911 they had moved to Brook House, Grindley Brook, Whitchurch. The 1919 Absent Voters’ Register records Thomas living at 29 Grindley Brook. Thomas emigrated to Australia some time between 1919 and 1933 and was living at 375 Pacific Highway, Sydney at the time of his marriage. In 1938 he was living at 529 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, North Sydney.

Employment: Before enlisting he helped on his father’s farm; his marriage certificate shows him as a greengrocer.

Died: Not known

Military Details

Regiment: Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment), formerly King’s Shropshire Light Infantry

Rank: Private

Service Number: G/106697, formerly 24019)

Date of Enlistment: Not known

Date of Discharge: Not known

Reason for Discharge: Not known

Medals and Awards

Thomas was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal, and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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