William John Higgins

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file

 

Jun 5, 1884

Born at Wimbledon, Surrey England

 

Aug 20, 1915

Attested into the 35th Battalion at Toronto Ontario 

Ø      Number 405295

Ø      Next of kin given as Florence Mary Higgins, wife, of Louisa St, Mimico Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Engineer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to “C” Company

 

Oct 16, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama at Montreal Quebec

 

Oct 25, 1915

Disembarked at Plymouth England 

While in England the 35th Battalion was renamed the 35th Reserve Battalion

 

Apr 1, 1916

Posted to the 21st Battalion

 

Apr 2, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France 

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion

 

Apr 18, 1916

Left the CBD to join the Battalion

 

Apr 20, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the front line trenches in the Voormezeele vicinity

 

Sep 24, 1916

Appointed to rank of Lance Corporal to replace L/Cpl MacKenzie 405672 who had been invalided to England

 

Nov 5, 1916

Proceeded on the Lewis Gun Course

 

Nov 26, 1916

Returned to duty from the Machine Gun Course

 

Jan 12, 1917

Promoted to rank of Corporal to replace Cpl Connelly 59193 who had been wounded

 

Jan 22, 1917

Attached to the 4th Canadian Draft Battalion (Composite Company) for duty

 

Feb 23, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from temporary duty

 

Apr 9, 1917

During the advance on Vimy Ridge, Cpl Higgins was killed in action.  He was initially buried near where he fell, but after the war had ended, his body was exhumed and reburied in a permanent cemetery


Nine Elms Military Cemetery
Thelus France

 Post war the following were sent to his widow, Florence M Higgins, at Box 218, Teeswater Ontario: 

British War Medal
Victory Medal
Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll
Memorial Cross 

There was only 1 Memorial Cross issued as his mother had predeceased him.

 

Cpl Higgins is also remembered on the Teeswater Ontario War Memoria


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