1. ITV Report

Rowing club to name boat after Great War hero

Lt Thomas Higgins MC Photo: Christine Fawcett

A rowing club from Chester will name a boat after a First World War hero who was awarded the medal for Conspicuous Gallantry.

Lt Thomas Higgins's name was chosen from the club's Great War Commemoration Board of the Grosvenor Rowing Club at random as the name for the new boat. The club would normally name a boat for the member of the Duke of Westminster's family.

After choosing Lt Higgins, Christine Fawcett from the club started researching his time at war. She said: "We found out he had joined up as a Sapper in the Marines and was sent to Gallipoli. He must have impressed as he was given a commission and sent back to the UK for Officer Training.

"He chose to join the Royal Engineers and was sent to the Somme."

The Royal Engineers role was to build and repair trenches for British soldiers. They often worked on the front line, mostly under enemy fire and would go as far as to strip wood and wire from captured German lines to fortify British ones.

Lt Thomas Higgins was awarded the Military Cross for Conspicuous Gallantry, for returning numerous times to front line trenches to help shore them up and protect front line troops.

Lt Higgins never received the medal, he died from injuries in a separate incident a few weeks later. He was 26-years-old.

Some of Lt Higgins relatives will attend the ceremony where a guard of honour will be formed from members of the Royal Engineers as the boat is named.

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