Thomas William Higginson

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: 18 August 1885 in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Family: He was the second of nine children born to Thomas Powell Higginson, a butcher and his wife Elizabeth. He married Mabel Michelhausen on 14 May 1915 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They had one daughter, Shirley, born in 1923.

Residence: In 1891 he was living with his parents and siblings in Kirkdale Road, West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire. By 1901 the family had moved to 27 Cleveden Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. The family emigrated to Canada in 1906. In 1916 he and his wife were living in Andras, Wetaskiwin, Alberta (although he was serving in Europe). By 1921 they had moved to 12006 87th Street, Edmonton, Alberta.

Employment: At the time of his Attestation in 1915 he was a draughtsman and in 1921 a bookkeeper.

Died: Not known.

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force 

Rank: Private

Service Number: 432600

Date of Enlistment: 11 January 1915

Date of Discharge: 23 March 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Other Information: Before enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force he had been in the Naval Reserve. His brother, Richard Henry (known as Harry), was killed in action in WW1.

Medals and Awards

Thomas was awarded the Campaign medals (1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals) and the Canadian War Service Badge (number 237416)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

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.

Canadian War Service Badge

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The Canadian War Badge was awarded to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) who served in the United Kingdom or at the front, and who, due to old age, wounds or sickness, had retired or relinquished their commissions or been honourably discharged.


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