Bridge of Weir

ww1 banner image


38504 Lance Corporal John Higgins

8th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

killed in action 28th October 1918

aged 28

Tezze British Cemetery, Italy
St Fillan's Church Memorial Window
Walsall Golf Club Memorial

Son of Peter Higgins and Helen Murray
Cameron Place, Bridge of Weir
Husband of Lilian Smith
St Ronan's, Birmingham Rd, Walsall

His Life

Brothers John and Peter Higgins were both killed in World War I. John was born on 15th October 1891 in Bridge of Weir, the second son of Peter Higgins, from Ireland, and Helen Murray, from Bridge of Weir who had formalised their marriage there on 16th July 1886.

In 1891 Peter (27) and Ellen (29) with their first two children, Peter (4) and Agnes, were living at Young's Land, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire. Peter was a mason's labourer. An aunt, Ellen Dogherty (56), a washerwoman from Kilbarchan, was living with them on the night of the census.

In 1901, the family of eight was living in a two roomed flat in Cameron Place, Bridge of Weir. Peter senior was a jobbing gardener and Peter junior was a labourer in a tanning works.

The family was still in Cameron Place in 1911 and Peter senior was then a currier's labourer. Agnes was a general servant; John (19) was a postman and professional golfer; Helen and Katie were factory workers at Printfield. Peter junior was not in the family home.

John was an assistant Professional at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club and in October 1911 he won the Glasgow and District Professional Golf Association's Autumn Competition. Edward Shedden, another Bridge of Weir professional, was runner-up.

He became club professional at Walsall Golf Club, in Staffordshire and married Lilian Smith there in late 1915. Walsall was another major centre of the leather industry. His name is on the Club War Memorial and recently a memorial statue has been commissioned in his honour.

Higgins Memorial WindowJohn first enlisted with the King's Own Scottish Borderers as a Private. He achieved promotion to Lance Corporal and by the time of his death he had been transferred to the 8th Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. John was killed in action in Italy on 28th October 1918, and he is buried in Tezze British Cemetery. The village of Tezze had been captured by the Austrians in the advance in the autumn of 1917 and remained in their hands until the Allied forces crossed the River Piave at the end of October 1918. The Allied attack east of the Piave began early in the morning of 27th October. The Austrians were forced back over the next few days until the Armistice came into effect on 4th November, just one week after John was killed.

John was the second of the two Higgins brothers to fall. Their names are recorded in a stained glass memorial window in St. Fillan's Church, Houston.


1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age
Peter4 Peter14 Bridge of Weir
Agnes2 Agnes12Agnes21 Bridge of Weir
John9John19Bridge of Weir
Nellie7Helen17 Bridge of Weir
Kate5Katie15 Bridge of Weir
Ann2 Annie 12 Bridge of Weir
Jeanie10 Bridge of Weir


TO CITE THIS PAGE: MLA style: "Bridge of Weir Memorial". Date of viewing. http://www.bridgeofweirmemorial.co.uk/profile-higginsjohn.html