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Private Alfred Henry Huggins



Alfred Henry Huggins was born on 26 October 1897 at Portlongfield, Kilbracken, County Cavan, the fourth of six children of farmer Thomas Huggins and his wife Susan Jane (nee Sproule). (His original birth registration gave his name as Thomas.)

Huggins enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim between 5 and 16 May 1917 (NIH regimental number between 2443 and 2446 – later Corps of Hussars No.71831). He embarked for France in 1917 or 1918, where he was posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In February and March 1918 the regiment was dismounted and re-formed as V Corps' cyclist regiment.

Later in the year Huggins was attached to the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), probably when that regiment was ordered to assist V Corps on 24 August at the beginning of the Advance to Victory offensive on the Somme front.

On 26 and 27 August the Carabiniers assisted the 38th (Welsh) Division in the assault on Delville Wood, Longueval and Bazentin-le-Grand, as dismounted troops on the first day, and as mounted reconnaissance on the second. They sustained heavy casualties - fifteen men killed on the 26th and three on the 27th, with four others dying of wounds soon after.

[26 August] The Germans ... turned down the road from Longueval against a sector of our front held by our 13th Battalion. The 13th went forward to meet them with the bayonet, but opened out to let a squadron of The Carabiniers through. The Cavalry had a rare gallop and an exciting dash at the counter-attacking enemy, who broke and cleared back before doing any great damage beyond making The Carabiniers pay for their ride. (Capt J. Dunn, The War the Infantry Knew 1914-1919)

Private Huggins was one of the wounded. He was evacuated to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station at Fienvillers, where he died on 30 August. He was buried at Fienvillers British Cemetery, Somme, France, grave C.36. His gravestone inscription reads:

30TH AUGUST 1918



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This page last updated 9 February 2023.