The Adam Park Project

Virtual Museum

Portrait of Pte Arthur Huggett - 1st Cambridgeshires

Item Information:

Catalogue Number: Huggett001 Source: Derek Sayer Location: Water Tower Hill, Malay Camp Report No: Not Applicable Artifact Type: Photograph Production Date: 2017-08-15 00:00:00 Dimensions of Item: Not Given Copyright with Source Institution

Other Description:

Photograph of Private Arthur John Huggett, 5835987.1st Battalion Cambridgeshires

Historic Context:

The attached photograph was donated to the virtual museum by Derek Sayer Arthur belonged to A Company and as such would have fought on Water Tower Hill and on the eastern side of Adam Road during the battle for the estate. Derek supplied the following background information I sat down with mum, but she doesn’t have loads of memory about Arthur. She would only have been 12/13 or so when he left. He lived at Southend and Mum in Camberwell, South London. Arthur’s parents were Reuben James Huggett and Clara Catherine [Fleming] He was born in Walthamstow 13/2/1914 and Arthur was the eighth of nine children; 8 brothers and 1 sister. His sister died 1929 of TB, but all the boys survived to various older ages. The brothers were generally not very close to each other and rarely saw each other once left home and married. The exception being Derek's granddad William who saw Ern’ regularly as he was married to his wife’s sister! The family stories suggest that the brother's sounded like they were a mixed bunch. Their father Reuben worked his way up to be some sort of manager at Harris Lebus furniture factory and most of the brothers worked there at one point or other, but it is not known whether Arthur worked there as well. Derek's mother says Arthur was easy going, nice chap, a very quiet person who was a gardener. He had a cleft palette which gave him a strong speech impediment. He once asked a girl out but she turned him down and he thought it was due to his impediment. The family believe that ks Arthur was called up because she didn’t think he was the sort to join up. He didn’t want to go to war, he wasn’t that type of personality. He played in a piano accordion band which often played at the Kursaal in Southend. He was believed to be close to his youngest brother Horace [Stan] as they were both left at home to look after the old widowed mum at Prittlewell. [Nr. Southend]. It’s said the mother and Stan never really got over losing Arthur. Arthur died 20/7/1943 at Malay Hamlet camp of cholera and was buried at Kannyu Jungle cemetery, grave no.40.

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