HIGHAM, Alfred Pte. 15443

Alfred Higham

Alfred Higham

Alfred Higham, a twin born in Whittle-le-Woods near Chorley in 1896 (the other did not survive the birth), the son of David and Kaziah Higham (nee Winstanley).

He went over the top at Serre on the 1st July 1916, seeing Sergeant Tom Grimshaw badly wounded in No Man’s Land. He said to him “Is there anything I can do for you?”, to which Tom replied “I am done for – you carry on”. Alfred then advanced a bit further and then sought refuge in a shell hole when he saw what was going on around him; he managed to get back to the British lines unscathed.

Between October and November 1916 the Pals were in trenches in the Hebuterne sector of the Somme and Alfred contracted Trench Foot. He said “I had been in a water-logged trench for four days in mid-November. When we were relieved and got back to our billets at Sailly-au-Bois, I took my boots and socks off and my feet looked like two cauliflowers’ heads, all wrinkled. It ended my service in France; when I had recovered I was posted to the 6th Battalion in Mesopotamia. Here I caught typhoid fever”.

After the war he returned to Whittle-le-Woods and lived at 10 Rock Villas in the village, worshiping at St. John’s Church and working as a Weaver at Low Mill. He eventually married in 1927, marrying Arabella Sharples at St. Laurence’s Church in 1927 and having a daughter, Dorothy.

Alfred died from pneumonia at Chorley Hospital in April 1981 whilst recovering from a hernia operation. Alfred was the nephew of Chorley Pal, Thomas Speak.