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Name: Donald Franklin Higgins Rank: Sapper Service No: F/91681 Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Engineers Date of Birth: October 23, 1920 Place of Birth: Elmsvale, Halifax Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: March 12, 1940 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, NS (No.6 District Depot, CASF) Address at Enlistment: Middle Musquodoboit, Halifax Co., NS Age at Enlistment: 19 Height: 5 feet; 7 inches Weight: 127 Complexion: Dark Eyes: Grey Hair: Black Trade: Diesel Engineer (Student) Marital Status: Single (at enlistment) Religion: United Church of Canada Next of Kin: George Franklin Higgins (Father) Middle Musquodoboit, Halifax Co., NS Date of Death: May 10, 1941 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey, England Grave Reference: 31. E. 1. Commemorated on Page 32 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on January 27 Donald Franklin Higgins was the second eldest son of George Franklin Higgins (1889-1965) and Luella Grace (Taylor) Higgins (1894-1995) and brother to Guy C., Burnham Taylor, Clifford Maxwell, Theodore Murray, David Leroy, Aileen and Freda. While overseas, Donald married Margaret Susan Marvin on April 17, 1941 at the Holborn Register Office, London, England. Donald’s older brother, Sergeant Guy Higgins served at Camp 60 CABTC during WWII and was a resident of Yarmouth in the post-war years. Donald joined the 1st Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, CASF and was taken on strength with the rank of Sapper with No 6. District Depot (Halifax) on March 12, 1940. On March 22, 1940 he transferred to the Engineer Training Centre with No. 6 Depot Company (Halifax) and qualified as a Driver Operator - Group “C” on May 20, 1940. He served at Petawawa until he proceeded overseas departing Halifax, NS on July 7, 1940 and arriving at Grennock in England on August 2, 1940. In England he was initially posted to No. 1 General Holding at Bordon until November 27, 1940 when he was taken on strength with No.1 Royal Canadian Engineers Holding Unit at Aldershot on November 28, 1940. On February 8, 1941 he proceeded to London to take a Clerk Course. He completed the course on May 3, 1941. While in London Donald obtained permission to marry Margaret Susan Marvin and was granted leave between May 3, and May 17, 1941. On May 10, while on his honeymoon leave, he was killed during an enemy operation over London. His body was taken to the University College Hospital in London on May 11, 1941. At the time of his death, Donald and Margaret were living at 1 Lidlington Place, London W.C.1 England. The worst air raid on London during the Blitz took place on the night of May 10/11, 1941. Destruction was spread out all over the city. 505 bombers flew to London on the night of 10 May, the full moon lighting their snaking path along the Thames. The German pilots had 15 minutes to locate and bomb their targets once they reached London, but still the bombing lasted nearly seven hours, starting at 11 pm on 10 May and continuing until the all-clear sounded at 5:50 am the next morning. British anti-aircraft batteries and RAF night fighters managed to shoot down 33 planes, but despite their best efforts, this night was one of the most destructive raids of the war. Donald Franklin Higgins was buried on May 16, 1941 at the Brookwood Military Cemetery. Sources and Information: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Veterans Affairs Canada London Blitz information May 10/11
Donald Franklin Higgins