Noel Thomas HIGTON (1888–1952)


Army Service Corps T4/172768  

Photo courtesy Brenda Street

Noel Higton in WW1

Thomas Noel Higton was not on the original Roll of Honour, his name came to light during research into Crich men who served.

Nick Higton, who has a one-name study of the HIGTON family at, provided the following information on Noel:

Thomas Noel HIGTON was born on 16 Dec 1888, the son of Julia HIGTON of Alderwasley, Derbyshire.  He was baptised on 11 March 1889 at St Mary the Virgin parish church, Wirksworth.
In the 1891 census, he was living at Oak Hill, Alderwasley with his mother and his grandparents, Phineas and Ann (née WALKER) HIGTON.
His mother, Julia, married Samuel WHEELDON at St Peter parish church, Derby on 23 April 1893, and together they had a daughter, Maud WHEELDON.  Julia died on 28 February 1896, aged 35, and was buried in Wirksworth cemetery on 2 March 1896.
It is probable that Samuel brought up Thomas Noel as his own son because, in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, he was enumerated as Noel WHEELDON.  (Thomas Noel retained the preferred forename, Noel, throughout the rest of his life.
In the 1901 census, Noel was living with, or possibly visiting, his aunt Mary (née HIGTON) and her policeman husband, Daniel ORME in Manchester.  Samuel was living at Moorwood Moor, between Crich and South Wingfield, with his widowed father, Thomas WHEELDON, and Maud was with her now-widowed grandmother Ann (née WALKER) HIGTON, and her spinster aunt, Phillis HIGTON in Alderwasley.
In the 1911 census, Noel was living with his stepfather, Samuel, at Moorwood Moor, and Maud was still with her aunt Phillis in Alderwasley.
It is not known when Thomas Noel reverted to his birth name, henceforward to be known as Noel Thomas HIGTON for the rest of his life.
His WW1 army record has not survived, but there are three documents that give some insights: his Army Medal Card, his entry in the Roll of men entitled to WW1 medals, and a page from a further document that recorded the ill and injured men being repatriated to Britain in 1918.  The first two documents provide similar information.

His Army Medal card records that he was awarded the Allied Victory Medal and the British War Medal 1914-18.  He was not awarded the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and this signifies that he was not called up for full-time active service before 1st January 1916.  The card also records that he was a Private, regimental number T4/172768, in the Army Service Corps (later the Royal Army Service Corps), whose role was to provide horse and mechanical transport; and food, equipment and ammunition to the front-line troops.
The prefix “T4” signifies that either he was enlisted into Kitchener’s Fourth New Army, or that he was one of the men who was serving in ASC units of the Territorial Force, and was transferred on to regular army terms in 1916.  If the latter, however, it is probable that he would have been awarded the 1914, or 1914-15, Star.
An Army record document for him is stamped “R.G.A. [Royal Garrison Artillery] Dover, 15 Jan 1918”, and records his unit as the "ASC. MT. 76 Co". This is the Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport, and 76 Co was "Pre-war. Ammunition Park for 3rd Cavalry Division. Later, became 7 GHQ Reserve MT Company".
It also records that he was suffering from “N.A.D”, and had been discharged from the No 1 South African General Hospital, Abbeville (Normandy) on 07 Jan 1918. (There were three army hospitals in Abbeville at this time).  The meaning of “N.A.D.” is not currently known.  This suggests that he was serving in northern France during 1917.

He was named in the 1918 Electoral Register as absent on military service, a resident of Plaistow Green, Crich.

After the war, Noel returned to Crich, and married Edith Florence Mary Northridge JULIAN in Q2 1922.  She was born in Q1 1900 in Mansfield R.D., and recorded as Florence in the 1911 census and the 1939 Register.  Her parents were Herbert JULIAN and his wife, Sarah (née Sarah Jenkinson NORTHRIDGE), who had married in Bingham R.D. in Q1 1900.  Herbert was born in Cropwell Bishop, Notts, and Sarah was born in Crich in Q4 1879.

Florence was recorded as born in Blackwell, Derbyshire in the 1901 census, and Crich in the 1911 census., but the former is more likely as it was in Mansfield R.D.

Noel and Florence had four children: Joyce, Evelyn, Brenda and Alan. He died on 27 August 1952, and Florence on 02 October 1984.  They are buried together in Crich cemetery.

There were three army hospitals in Abbeville and there is more detail here:

For further infornation about the ASC transport corps see –

Service Record
[just a single sheet remains]
172768; Pte Higton N T; ASC; MT 76-Co; N.A.D.; Dis.ex 1 Sth.Afric.Gen.H. Abbeville; 7th Jan '18

Medal Roll Index Card
Higton Noel T, awarded the Victory and British War medals.


1891 Oak Hill, Wigwell, Alderwasley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Phineas Higton Head 65 Gardener Alderwasley
Ann Higton wife 65   Alderwasley
Julia Higton daughter 28   Alderwasley
Thomas N Higton grandson 2   Alderwasley

RG12 piece 2750 folio 95 page 7

1901 17, New York Street; South Manchester

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Daniel Orme Boarder 49 Policeman Styal, Cheshire
Mary Orme wife 50   Alderwasley
Noel Wheeldon nephew 28   Alderwasley

RG13 piece 3895 folio 123 page 27

1911 Moorwood Moor, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Samuel Wheeldon Head (widower) 56 Colliery labourer Moorwood Moor
Noel Wheeldon son 22 General Labourer Wirksworth

RG14PN20982 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED11 SN236

1918 Crich voters
Noel Thomas Higton, Plaistow Green absent on military service.

1939 Register: Cliff House, Crich
Noel T Higton b.16 December 1888; spar miner, heavy work
Florence (Edith FM) b.30 December 1899
Joyce (E) Newborough (Higton) b.14 July 1922; tape sorter
Evelyn Cook (Parkin, Higton) b.18 July 1935; school
Samuel (Henry) Fantom b.1 May 1905; gannister getter, heavy work
three closed records