James HIGGINS
Rank: Private
Number: 2540
Unit: 11th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 19 August 1915
Age: 46
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

James was born in Bellmatubber, County Mayo, but had lived in Stockport for a number of years. He was an ex-regular soldier who had served in South Africa during the Boer War but had returned to civilian life but retained as an army reservist. He was married and lived at 5 Tatton Street, where he earned his living as a labourer.

When war was declared in August 1914, he will have been recalled to the colours but did not go abroad immediately with the other regular army troops. Perhaps his age and experience better suited him to train the recruits in the newly formed 11th Battalion. Perhaps he could have avoided going on active service but he went with his new comrades to Gallipoli, going into action there on 14 July 1915.

On the day he was killed, the Battalion’s War Diary records that No. 3 and 4 platoons supported the right flank of the 8th Northumberland Fusiliers in an attack on a Turkish trench. The remainder of the Battalion then went forward in support and started to dig in. However, before they had properly consolidated the gains, the Turks counter-attacked driving the Manchesters back to their original positions with the loss of many casualties. James’ body was never recovered and identified.

   
           
   
     
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