Henry Joseph Higgs AM

b. 22/12/1886 Brixton, London.  d. 23/02/1936 Manchester,  Lancashire.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 17/02/1916 Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Henry J Higgs AM

He was born in London in 1886, the son of Joseph Inkerman and Catherine Margaret Higgs (nee Knock), and was educated at St. Paul’s School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he graduated with honours in the mechanical sciences tripos in 1909. He received his practical training at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, and at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham, and in 1911 was made a second lieutenant in the special reserve of officers of the Royal Engineers. In 1912 he went to Egypt as a member of the Egyptian Government Irrigation Service and carried out much of the work in connexion with the Esna Barrage, where he was in charge of the workshops and pumping plant. He was recalled to the Army in 1914 and served in France with the Royal Engineers; later he was wounded at Neuve Chapelle. From 1916 to 1919 he was attached to G.H.Q. staff in Palestine. He was thrice mentioned in dispatches and was awarded the Albert Medal in gold for bravery, and later received the O.B.E. In 1920 he was transferred to the special reserve of retired officers of the Royal Engineers.

He married Gladys Winifred Rawlings in 1914, and they had a son and a daughter.



At Newark, on the 17th February last, whilst instruction in the use of bombs was being given to a class of non-commissioned officers and men, who were standing round, two members of the class, after lighting the fuzes, dropped their bombs, through nervousness. Lieutenant Higgs picked up the bombs, the fuzes being more than half burned at the time,and threw them over the parapet. The bombs exploded when just clear of the parapet. On the llth April last, an officers’ class was being practised in the throwing of live grenades from behind a breastwork. One officer, when ‘throwing a grenade, struck his arm against another officer, who was standing too close to him, so that the grenade was jerked out of his hand and fell between the class (numbering 30 officers) and the breastwork. Lieutenant Higgs dashed forward, seized the bomb, and threw it over the breastwork; it exploded in the air in front of the breastwork. In addition, on several other occasions, ten or twelve in all, men when being practised in throwing the live grenades have dropped them, through nervousness, and Lieutenant Higgs has picked them up and thrown them over the parapet, thus avoiding serious accidents.





Allan Stanistreet – Image of Henry Higgs AM.