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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, marking the grave at Caterpillar valley cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray
Person Details
George Ernest Manlove Higgs was the son of Arthur and Florence Higgs (née Manlove). His mother Florence was the daughter of Thomas Manlove and Elizabeth Eakin Jeffries who were married in Nottingham in 1858. Of their eight children, three, including Florence, died before the 1911 census. The children, who were all born in Nottingham, were: Arthur b. 1859 (reg. J/F/M); Sophia b. 1861; Clarence b. 3 June 1864, Alice b, 1867 (reg. J/F/M) m. George Henry Fozzard 20 August 1888 d. 1891; Ellen b. 1868; Lucy b. 1871; Ernest b. 1873 and Florence b. 2 October 1877 bap. Nottingham St Mary 9 December 1877 d. 1902. The third child to die before the 1911 has not yet been traced but may have been the eldest son, Arthur who was 12 years old at the time of the 1871 census and has not been traced on subsequent census. However, there are records (not sighted) of an Arthur Manlove, similar age, who emigrated to Australia (records not sighted). Their mother Elizabeth was widowed on 18 February 1900 when her husband Thomas died. The family was then living on Rutland Road, Trent Boulevard, West Bridgford. In 1901 she was living at 6 Trent Road, Sneinton, with two of her children, Sophia (40) a lace warehouse hand and Ernest (27) a furniture commission agent. Five of Elizabeth's children were married by 1901: Alice to George Henry Fozzard in 1888, Clarence to Eliza Annie Taylor in 1888, Ellen in 1889, Lucy to Buckingham William Bird in 1900 and Florence to Arthur Higgs in 1898 (A/M/J). Florence and Arthur had one child, George Ernest Manlove Higgs, who was born in 1899 (O/N/D). Florence (27) was recorded on the 1901 Census at 35 Carrington Street, Nottingham. She was described as married, head of household and a tobacconist and shopkeeper at the same address. Her husband Arthur Higgs has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census, but their son George was living in Old Radford with Florence's married brother, Clarence, his wife Annie and son Clarence Leslie (b. 17 October 1889). Florence Higgs died on 1 April 1902; she was still living at 35 Carrington Street. The probate record describes Florence as the wife of Arthur Higgs but administration of her effects was awarded to her widowed mother. By 1911 George (11) was living with his grandmother Elizabeth and her unmarried son Ernest (39) a general broker ('iron etc') on his own account, at 3 Hawkridge Street, Nottingham. Elizabeth's daughter Sophia, who had been living with her and Ernest in 1901, had married Edward Sheard in 1906. George's grandmother, whom he named as his next of kin when he attested in 1915, was still living at the same address when she died in December 1918. His uncle Ernest Manlove attested in October 1915 at the age of 37y 5m. Ernest named his mother Elizabeth as his next of kin. He served at home with the 13th Bn Training Reserve Notts & Derby Regiment (79811 Private) from 5 October 1915 to 15 February 1918 when he was discharged as physically unfit for war service. Ernest probably married Fanny Kirkbride in 1918 (J/F/M) and then lived at 120 Alfreton Road, Nottingham. George's cousin, Clarence Leslie Manlove, served in the RAF from 16 June 1918 (197690).
Attended Mundella School, Meadows, Nottingham. Member of No 2 (Nottingham) Coy. Boys' Brigade (Dakeyne Street Boys' Club) in which he was a corporal. In 1915, when he enlisted, he was a joiner.
09 Sep 1916
553238 - CWGC Website
3 Hawkridge Street, Robin Hood Street, Nottingham. Enlisted Nottingham
Lance Corporal
2nd Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Served as George Higgs. Seventeen year-old George Ernest Manlove Higgs enlisted on 5th May 1915 at Nottingham, giving his age (falsely) as 19 yrs and 7 months. He lived at 3 Hawkridge Street, Robin Hood Street, Nottingham, and his next of kin was his grandmother, Elizabeth Manlove, of the same address. He joined his regiment, the King's Royal Rifle Corps, at Winchester barracks on 9th May 1915. George was posted to the 2nd Bn KRRC and embarked for France on 31 December 1915, disembarking on New Year's Day 1916. He went to the Front on 6 January and joined the 2nd Bn in the Field on 8 February 1916. George was promoted lance corporal on 5 July 1916. He suffered a shell wound to the left arm on 20 August 1916 and did not rejoin his battalion until 5 September. He was killed in action four days later on 9 September. George is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France (grave ref XI.H.19). His body was reinterred in the cemetery from another burial ground after the Armistice. George qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Caterpillar Valley Cemetery (extract): Caterpillar Valley was the name given by the army to the long valley which runs West to East, past "Caterpillar Wood", to the high ground at Guillemont. Longueval village is on the Northern crest of this valley and 500 metres West of the village, on the South side of the road to Contalmaison, is Caterpillar Valley Cemetery. Caterpillar Valley was captured during a successful night assault by the 3rd, 7th and 9th Divisions on Bazentin Ridge on 14 July 1916. It was lost in the German advance of March 1918 and recovered by the 38th (Welsh) Division on 28 August 1918, when a little cemetery was made (now Plot 1 of this cemetery) containing 25 graves of the 38th Division and the 6th Dragoon Guards. After the Armistice, this cemetery was hugely increased when the graves of more than 5,500 officers and men were brought in from other small cemeteries, and the battlefields of the Somme. The great majority of these soldiers died in the autumn of 1916 and almost all the rest in August or September 1918 [cemeteries listed].'
George was one of four boys who enlisted directly from Mundella school, all of whom were killed. (Mundella Magazine). Mundella Magazine, Xmas 1916, 'Our Fallen': Thus writes a friend: ‘This war has produced many heroes. Some in the excitement of a few minutes of a ‘crowded life’ have done deeds of valour; others, coolly calculating the cost, have, in the full knowledge of the consequences, nobly played their part. George Higgs was of the latter company, for as a pupil in the fifth form he offered his services to his country. Although extremely young, his build was that of a lad beyond his years, and his training already recognised, for he had won his corporal’s stripes in the No 2 (Nottm) Coy. The Boys Brigade. He devoted himself whole-heartedly to his new life and soon gained his first stripe, as member of the Lewis Gun Section. A slight wound had necessitated a temporary withdrawal to the Field Hospital, but on the day he returned to his battalion, he made the supreme sacrifice. Even in his last message home, there was a reference to his old school, with which he had kept in touch from his enlistment. Others may add lustre to the school’s honour, but none will do more to build up the school’s tradition.’ Notice published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 30th September 1916:- “HIGGS. – Killed in action, September 9th, 1916, Lance-Corporal George Manlove Higgs, 17 years, King's Royal Rifles, dearly beloved grandson of Mrs. Manlove, 3, Hawkridge-street.” Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Probate: Higgs Florence of 35 Carrington-street Nottingham (wife of Arthur Higgs) died 1 April 1902 Administration Nottingham 1 April to Elizabeth Ekin (sic) Manlove widow Effects £194 2s. 8d. A War Office memo instructed George's possessions to be returned to Mrs Elizabeth E Manlove and also his medals to be forwarded to her. However, the memo was anotated: 'Regarding the late soldier's effects, with the exception of a small Bible which if in your possession should be sent to Miss Florrie Hickling, 26 Radford Buildings, Nottingham.' Elizabeth Manlove confirmed receipt of her grandson's personal possessions on 2 February 1918. Unfortunately, the list of these does not survive and so we do not know if Florrie Hickling received George's 'small Bible.' His service record contains a letter dated 30 September 1920 from the Chief Constable, Nottingham City Police, to the OIC Rifle Records, KRR, Winchester: 'Ref. 12500 Rfn G Higgs deceased. Enquiries have been made as requested by your letter of the 27th instant, and it has been asecertained that Mrs E Manlove died in December, 1918. The next of kin, her son, is Ernest Manlove, furniture dealer, 120 Alfreton Road, Nottingham.' Ernest was living at 3 Hawkridge Street when he attested in 1915, but had probably left home on his marriage in early 1918. However, there was probably other correspondence between the army and Ernest and Clarence Manlove which has not survived, as a memo of 21 June 1920 directed that George's medals should be sent to his uncle, C Manlove, of 'East Leigh', Buckingham Road, Woodthorpe, Nottingham. Clarence received the British War Medal and Victory Medal in June 1921.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, marking the grave at Caterpillar valley cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray
    George Manlove Higgs - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone, marking the grave at Caterpillar valley cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray
  • Photograph published Nottingham Evening Post, 30th September 1916.  Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    George Ernest Manlove Higgs - Photograph published Nottingham Evening Post, 30th September 1916. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918