Percy Higgins

British Red Cross
Date of birth:
Date of death:
27 January 1917
Age at Death:

Known information

Percy Higgins of Barnsdale was probably the only Rutland man to have witnessed the desperate fighting at Verdun. He was a chauffeur before the First World War and volunteered to join the British Red Cross Society as an ambulance driver. According to Red Cross records he joined on 5 October 1915 when he was aged 21. When volunteers were called for to form a convoy to help the French Army he stepped forward. As a result he became attached to B Section, Sanataire, Anglaise No. 16, under a Colonel Barry and a Captain Marshall. His convoy worked at Verdun and Douaumont and also at Perthes, Vaux, Bras, and Fleury as the French struggled to hold back the Germans in what became a defining battle of the war. He was invalided home after developing a growth in his throat, which some put down to the exposure and hardships he endured in France. Percy died after an operation at St Thomas' Hospital in London on 27 January 1917. George Phillips wrote: "He was a general favourite with all the officers and men of the convoy, who sent to his parents a special memorial framed in ebony, signed by them, sixty four in all." He was buried at Hambleton where his grave is on the right hand side of the church, with his name only partially visible without looking closely.

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  • Exton Church
  • Exton Internal Memorial
  • Exton Garden of Remembrance RR4
  • Exton Garden of Remembrance RR1
  • Hambleton Church
  • Hambleton Memorial
  • Hambleton Memorial 2

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Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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