John Huggins

Medals awarded

  • The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St. George Knights Cross
  • The Order of St John
  • Military Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19
    MID oak leaf
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45
  • King George V Silver Jubilee Medal 1935
  • King George VI Coronation Medal 1937
  • Medal for Freedom (USA)

John Huggins (pictured holding top hat) was born in Yorkshire in 1891, the oldest son of William and Mary Ann. He was educated at Bridlington School, studied at Leeds University and joined the regiment’s 6th Battalion in September 1915, having previously served with the 11th Battalion.

During the First World War he also served with the 2nd and 7th battalions. In November 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the Battle of the Somme, whilst a temporary 2nd Lieutenant. His citation in the London Gazette stated the award was for “For conspicuous gallantry in action. Being driven out of a trench by a superior force of the enemy, he showed great skill and determination in reorganizing his men and retaking the trench. He successfully held the trench until relieved.”

Records in the regimental archives reveal his passion for football, with two medals in the museum collection; one is inscribed ‘2nd Lieutenant J Huggins, 50th Brigade Cup 1915′ and the other ’11th Division Football 1918-19 B Class’.

After the war, Huggins worked for the Malayan Civil Service until 1938.  He then held the office of Colonial Secretary for Trinidad between 1938 and 1942. Between 1942 and 1943 he was Head of British Colonies Supply Mission in Washington D.C. and ended his career as Captain-General and Governor in Chief of Jamaica between 1943 and 1951.

Sir John Huggins died in Surrey in June 1971.

Sir John’s Military Cross has been separated from the rest of his medal group, so is not in the museum collection. If you have any knowledge of it, please get in touch with the museum as we would love to reunite the full group.