Author Topic: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi  (Read 17770 times)

Offline manchester48

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Hello

This is my first post on this forum and would like to thank admin for adding me. This is a stab in the dark really.

I am searching for a maternal uncle who I never knew, birth name Eric Higham, born 1919, Gorton, Manchester. AKA Edward "Ted" Higham.

I know he was in the 1st Manchester regiment, stationed at Singapore and captured by the Japanese following the Fall of Singapore. I have no attestation records, no war service records, and no Regt No for him.

All I know about him from hereon is that he was a prisoner at Changi. I know he survived captivity and returned to Manchester to live.

I don't expect to receive much information on him personally, due to the lack of information I have. Maybe someone on the forum could shed some light on his service details or shed some light on details of his captivity and evacuation.

Many thanks in advance

Margaret




Offline sphinx

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 07:50:57 PM »
Margaret,

His service number was 3533948 and he lived at  87 Wellington Road, Ashton on Ribble.

regards

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 10:04:01 PM »
Amazing sphinx. Didn't expect anything from my vague details.   Had to look up Ashton on Ribble!! Didn't know he lived there. Another avenue to go down now.  I know he married in Manchester and was last seen by my aunt in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester in the 1960's. Did you find him under Eric Higham or Edward Higham? Many thanks.

Regards

Margaret

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 11:37:29 AM »
Margaret.
After your uncle had been taken prisoner in Singapore he was based in the pow camp at Changi.  In April 1943 the Japanese moved 10,000 prisoners to Thailand to work constructing a railway in two parties known as 'F' and 'H' Forces.  A detachment of some 320 Manchesters from the 1st Battalion, commanded by Major HRC Hyde, formed a part of 'F' Force.  The travelled in appalling conditions by rail to Thailand then marched some 190 miles up the railway to the area of the Three Pagoda Pass where the joining up of the Thai and Burmese sections of the line was due to take place. 

When this party eventually returned to Singapore on 20th December 1943, a large percentage of   the original party had died through cholera, dysentry and other diseases.  Your uncle was fortunate enough to have survived this ordeal. 
Robert

Offline sphinx

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 01:23:11 PM »
Amazing sphinx. Didn't expect anything from my vague details.   Had to look up Ashton on Ribble!! Didn't know he lived there. Another avenue to go down now.  I know he married in Manchester and was last seen by my aunt in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester in the 1960's. Did you find him under Eric Higham or Edward Higham? Many thanks.

Regards

Margaret

Margaret,

Just shown as E. on the notes I have.

regards

Offline rafboy

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 03:43:57 PM »
Hi Margaret
Have a look at this section of the Forum http://themanchesters.org/forum/index.php?topic=610.0 there are 2 pages, the photos are on 2 which is the first page.  You will find 2 photos of groups of POW's taken in Singapore, I have not been able to find out exactly where but know from my father being sent to Formosa (Taiwan) and others identified in the photos going up country on the "Railway" that it is definitely in Singapore. If you have any photos you can use for comparison I can send you these 2 in higher definition so that you can see if you can locate him in one of them. The few identified so far are all Manchester Regiment.
He should have a POW record card and a QL card in the National Archive at Kew.  I have photos of several but unfortunately not his.  It is possible that "Roy (themonsstar)" may be able to get them for you.
There are also several documents which may have information on him held in the Regimental museum Archive.
2 Documents I am aware of are:
Order of Battle reference MR1/3/1/15
First Battalion The Manchester Regiment Malaya, Thailand, Burma 1939 ~ 1945 reference MR1/3/1/18 (Well worth getting a copy).

His next of Kin can also get a copy of his service record, I will try attaching PDF files of the information and application forms.

Cliff      
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 03:49:08 PM by rafboy »
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 06:54:40 PM »
Robert
Thank you so much for this information.  Over the years I have read about and watched t.v. documentaries about the POW's going to Thailand and working on the railway. And always wondered to myself if Uncle Eric was one of those poor men. Now it seems a distinct possibility he was.

Sphinx - Thanks for the name confirmation. I went on Google maps steet view and have a screen snip of the address in Preston you gave me yesteday.  Wonderful

Cliff
Thanks so much for the info and the link to the pics. I don't have any photo's of Uncle Eric - just a brief description of hair & eye colour from my Mum over the years. I know that all my Mum & her siblings had similar facial features and that is all I can go off when looking at pics.  Unfortunately I don't know the whereabouts of his n.o.k. either.  I know he married and had 2 sons after the war but don't know anything about them or their whereabouts. I think I've seen him on one of the photo's Harribobs (Chris) has posted in the link and if I could have a higher defn pic I could show it to Mum when I visit her and see if she is able to identify anyone on it. Trouble is she has cataracts and doesn't see very well. Will take my big magnifying glass when I go.

You have all started me off on a journey I never thought I would be able to take and I am in awe of you all. Grateful thanks, Margaret
« Last Edit: May 24, 2015, 06:59:41 PM by manchester48 »

Offline charlie

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 07:43:46 PM »
Margaret, even though you are not his next of kin you can still apply for his service record. Some information may be withheld unless you can prove he died more than 25 years ago.
Charlie

Offline rafboy

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 08:29:32 PM »
Hi Margaret

I have sent you a PM with my email address.

Cliff
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline harribobs

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 09:13:25 PM »
Hi margaret

Very pleased to see you have got some real positive results

You may well be interested in the FEPOW site, especially Arthur's writings. We lost Arthur a couple of months ago I am sad to say.

http://www.fepow-community.org.uk/arthur_lane/


Chris
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2015, 05:38:24 PM »
Thanks Chris. For all your help and guidance. This evening I'll be reading more of Arthur Lane's writings. Hard going emotionally isn't it.

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2015, 05:41:29 PM »
Hi Cliff

Where do I find my pm box on here?

Regards
Margaret

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2015, 05:41:58 PM »
Its OK Cliff I've found it!!!  LOl

Online mack

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2015, 10:09:32 PM »
Margaret.
theres also a corporal 3529518 eric higham,manchester regt

theres a possibility that eric died in stockport in December 1984,the burial records up till 1996 are on microfilm at stockport central library.

mack ;D
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 10:15:06 PM by mack »

Offline manchester48

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Re: Private Eric Higham a.k.a. Edward Higham, 1st Manchesters, Changi
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2015, 12:11:46 PM »
Hello Mack.  Uncle Eric's brother, Uncle Albert (a.k.a. Terence) enlisted 2nd Manchesters in 1938 with service number 3530488.  Mum says Eric enlisted after him therefore he isn't the Eric with the service no quoted. But thanks for that info. :)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 12:17:15 PM by manchester48 »