The AIF Project

John HIGGS

Regimental number1108
Place of birthSutton Cold Fields, Staffordshire, England
ReligionProtestant
OccupationChainman
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation44
Height5' 10.5"
Weight196 lbs
Next of kinSeparated Wife, Mrs Eunice Higgs, 148 Gillies Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the South Staffordshire Volunteer Battalion
Enlistment date9 November 1914
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 April 1915
Date of death25 April 1915
Age at death from cemetery records45
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 35), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
66
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Hannah HIGGS; husband of E. HIGGS, 148 Gillies Street, Adelaide, South Australia. Native of Sutton Goldfield, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Embarked Sydney, 22 December 1914.

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 2 March 1915.

Reported missing, Gallipoli, 25-28 April 1915.

Court of Inquiry held in the field, 5 June 1916, pronounced fate as 'killed in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915'.

Various accounts of Higgs' death were forthcoming. 582 Pte Charles G. Wightman, 12th Bn, stated, 2 May 1915: '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 Bn, 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 Pte H. Pearse, 12th Bn, stated, 2 May 1915: '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.' Further evidence from 561 Driver W.H. Chapman, 12th Bn, was disregarded as unreliable 'as Chapman arrived at Peninsula in August' (Base Records to DAAC, 4th Military District, 8 February 1916).

Wife (Mrs Eunice Higgs: entered as next of kin Q but separated Q on Attestation Form: 'Address of wife unknown') subsequently established a claim to his estate.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, HIGGS John

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