Private Jasper (Jack) Huggett

Jasper Huggett

Title: Jasper Huggett
Description: Image copyright of the Huggett family by-nc

Jasper, known to the family as Jack, was born on the 4 November 1895 at 13 Oakwood Road, Thornton Heath, West Croydon. He first went to Boston Road Infants’ School on 5 June 1899, before joining the boys’ school from 6 April 1903. He left on 26 March 1909 to become a labourer. Jack’s parents were Daniel and Annie Huggett, and he had many siblings (at least 15!). The 1901 census shows his address as 1 Oakwood Road, Croydon, while by 1911 the family had moved to 72 Donald Road, West Croydon.

Jack volunteered for the Army at the age of 19 on the 14 November 1914, enrolling into the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. After a short period of training, he arrived in France two months later on the 22 January 1915 and was initially stationed at Le Havre base for a week before entering the trenches in the Cuinchy area. He was present at the battalion’s actions on 10 March (Neuve Chapelle), 9 May (Aubers Ridge) and 28 May (Festubert), before being wounded in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos (25 September 1915). The wound was sufficient for him to be invalided home on the 2 October, from Le Havre to Southampton aboard the Asturius. Jasper had recovered sufficiently to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party on 22 March 1916. Between the 3 July 1917 and January 1919, Jack served with the Labour Corps (Unit 326, HS Works Company) as a carpenter. His service documents also state that he was attached to the 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment as well as to the Bedfordshire Regiment. Jack Huggett was discharged to the Class Z Reserve on 14 March 1919.

Jack became engaged to Hilda Emmeline Lane (born 2 August 1896) on 21 May 1918 and they married in St John’s Church, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, on 9 January 1921. Jack and Hilda initially lived at 33 Lime Grove, New Malden, Surrey, for ten years, raising three children, Peggy, Peter and John. The family later moved to 16, Ebbisham Road, Worcester Park, but were forced to move from there to rented accommodation in 1935 when they moved to 4, Carlton Crescent, North Cheam, Surrey, the house that became Jack’s home for the rest of his life. The 1939 register confirms that address and details Jasper as a wood fencer and ‘Carpenter (Heavy Worker)’.

Jasper died at home on 17 February 1957 of chronic bronchitis and cardiac failure at the age of 61 years. He was buried in Cuddington Cemetery, Worcester Park.

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