PRIVATE THOMAS HIGGINS
Died 27th July 1916
No. 20168 of the Bedfordshire Regiment, 1st Battalion, “D” Company.
Born: Woburn Sands, 14th May 1893
Resided: Sandfield Cottages, Woburn Sands
Enlisted: Bedford, March / April 1915
Thomas was the eldest son of Charles John, a drayman, and Alice, of Sandfield Cottages, Weathercock Lane. He volunteered in March 1915, and was at Landguard until sent to the Western front in May 1916, to the Somme Offensive. He also fought at Arras.
The 1st Beds arrived at the Somme on 16th July. On the 27th, they were advancing into Delville Wood, in support of the 1st Norfolks. They had reached the town of Longueval before the Germans counter attacked and halted the advance. The 1st Beds were due to attack the next objective, but the Norfolks could not support them due to their own heavy casualties. Eventually the attack fell back to the first objective. The Bedfords were relieved on August 1st. They had suffered 185 casualties to other ranks during this action. Thomas was reported missing on July 27th and subsequently killed in action. He was 23. One of his sisters was also killed whilst working on munitions.
Thomas is listed on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais. Listed on the Woburn Sands Memorial. His army service papers have not survived..
Some details kindly provided by Steve Fuller, “The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War”, at www.bedfordregiment.org.uk
Page last updated Jan. 2019.