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A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
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Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Bigg

BIGG, Arthur 1891-1919

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk in 1891.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1901), Chignall, Chelmsford, Essex (1911), Eastwick, Hertfordshire [1918].  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1911).  Service Record: Arthur was serving in Ireland as Pte.7544 with 4th [Queen’s Own] Hussars at the outbreak of the Great War.  His brother Robert also served in this unit.  He was posted to France from 15.8.1914 as part 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, taking part in the Retreat from Mons, First and Second Battles of Ypres in October 1914 and April 1915, and at the Battle of Moreuil Wood in 1918.  Died: Arthur died on active service in Belgium on 3.3.1919, most probably while being treated at the 50th [Northumbrian] Casualty Clearing Station.  He is buried in Huy [La Sarte] Communal Cemetery [grave ref: II.A.41], Liege, Belgium and commemorated on the War Memorial at Eastwick in Hertfordshire.[1]

[1] For details of the 4th Hussars time on the Western Front see War Diary [WO 95/1134/1].  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 851010], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372]. 

BIGG, Arthur William 1883-1957

Born: Battersea, London in 1883.  Parents: Samuel Bigg of Long Melford (Butler) and Maria Elizabeth [née Spicer] (Tailoress).  Home: living with Peter and Eliza Spicer (grandparents) at 76 Beaufoy Road, Battersea, London (1891, 1901), living with Mary Ann Burder (mother-in-law) at Leigh Villa, 1 Fairleigh Drive, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (1911).  Occupation: Grocer’s Assistant (1901), Bricklayer’s Labourer (1911).  Married: Ethel Ada Burder in 1913.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Leigh-on-Sea, Essex 16.2.1957.[1]

[1] Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.

BIGG, Charles b1885

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk in 1885.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891], Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Keeble’s Farm, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1891), Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone (1901), Crowell Hill, Chinnor, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (1911).  Occupation: Under Gamekeeper (1901), Gamekeeper (1911).  Service Record: Charles attested in 1903 as Dvr.2/20598 with the Army Service Corps, being discharged as unfit in August 1911 due to wound of right eyeball.  It is not known if Charles saw service during the First World War as no extant record has been found.[1]

[1] See Chelsea Hospital British Army Service Record [WO 97] up to 1911.

BIGG, Charles 1890-1940

Born: Shimpling, Suffolk on 22.5.1890.  Parents: William Bigg (Farmer in Long Melford) [see detail below] and Mary [née Boggis].  Family Connections: Brother to Spencer Bigg [b1889] and Walter Bigg [b1895].  Home: Gifford’s Farm, Shimpling, Suffolk (1891), Burton’s Farm, Clare Road, Long Melford (1901), Borley Place, Borley, Essex [1922], emigrated to Australia [1922].  Occupation: Seaman [1915], Clerk [1922].  Married: Mary Lewis in 1917.  Service Record: Charles enlisted on 11.3.1915 as Pte.76 with ‘A’ Company, 18th Battalion, 5th Brigade and part of the Australian Imperial Force.  Posted to Gallipoli where he received a gunshot wound to the fingers of his left hand on 27.8.1915, only one week after landing.  He returned to Australia and was discharged on 15.5.1916.  Died: New South Wales, Australia in 1940.[1]

[1] Date of birth from Baptism Register 15.6.1890, St Georges Church, Shimpling, Suffolk.  See his Service Record held at the National Archives of Australia [file ref: B2455/3081438].

BIGG, Edward Frank 1895-1916

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk in 1895.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891] and Ernest Bigg [b1893].  Home: Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1901), Chignall, Chelmsford, Essex (1911), Eastwick, Hertfordshire [1914].  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1911).  Service Record: Edward attested as Pte.5218 with 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment, being posted to France as part of 118th Brigade, 39th Division.  By October 1916 Edward’s battalion was in trenches opposite the Schwaben Redoubt; a heavily fortified strongpoint in the German front line.  This position was successfully occupied by 118th Brigade on 14.10.1916.  Died: Edward died of wounds on 14.10.1916 during the later stages of the Somme Offensive and is buried in Contay British Cemetery (grave ref: III.C.10), Contay, Somme, France and commemorated of the War Memorial at Eastwick in Hertfordshire.[1]

[1] For details of this action see 118th Brigade’s War Diary see [WO 95/2590] and for Edward’s period with his battalion see War Diaries [WO 95/1358/2 and WO 95/2590/2].  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 358885], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BIGG, Ernest 1893-1981

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk on 3.9.1893.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1901), Chignall, Chelmsford, Essex (1911), Eastwick, Hertfordshire [1914], Westwood House, Westwood Road, Reading, Berkshire (1939).  Occupation: Agricultural Labourer (1911), Horsekeeper [1914], Gardener (1939).  Married: Martha Newland (Cook) in 1920.  Service Record: Ernest enlisted on 14.11.1914 as Pte.9394 with 5th [City of London] Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, transferring as Cpl.9394 to 8th [Service] Battalion, Royal Fusiliers [City of London] Regiment and posted to France from 15.2.1916 to 9.7.1916 as part of 36th Brigade, 12th [Eastern] Division.  Bigg’s Service Record shows that at some point he received a gunshot wound to the head.  The day is not given but the Battalion’s War Diary for 7.7.1916 notes that during its successful assault on enemy trenches at Ovillers, the unit sustained over 600 casualties.  This would seem a likely date for the injury to have occurred as two days later he was returned to England.  In February 1917 he transferred to 15th [Labour] Battalion, The Queen’s [Royal West Surrey] Regiment, then on 14.5.1917 to 123rd Company, Labour Corps being reposted to France, moving finally on 7.9.1918 as A/Sgt.73211 to 241st [Prisoner of War] Company, Labour Corps, before his discharge in May 1919.  Died: Bullingdon, Oxfordshire in 1981.[1]

[1] For details of the action see 8th Royal Fusiliers War Diary [WO 95/1857/1].  The attack on Ovilliers was part of the Battle of Albert, the opening phase of the Somme Offensive of 1916.  Also see his Soldiers’ Documents, First World War ‘Burnt Documents’ [WO 363], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329], and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BIGG, Harry 1883-1960

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk on 9.4.1883.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891], Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Keeble’s Farm, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1891), lodging with George Smith at Mill Green, Edwardstone (1901), Malton, Yorkshire (1911 to 1939), Fair View, Broughton, Yorks [1960].  Occupation: Thatcher’s Labourer (1901), Agricultural Labourer (1911), Smallholder and Hay Cutter, and Special Constable (1939).  Married: Maude Johnson in 1909.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Rydale, Yorks in 1960.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Malton, Yorks,

BIGGS, Philip George 1885-1946

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 28.3.1885.  Parents: Philip Biggs of Boxted, Essex (Publican and Fishmonger) and Ellen Mahela [née South].  Home: The Cottage, Upper Street, Stratford St Mary, Suffolk (1891 to 1911), 40 Surrey Road, Ipswich, Suffolk (1939).  Occupation: Wheelwight’s Apprentice (1901), Coach Painter (1911), Coach and House Painter (1939).  Married: Ellen Greta Welhams in 1913.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Ipswich, Suffolk in 1946.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Ipswich, Suffolk.

BIGG, Robert John 1890-1969

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk on 9.7.1890.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Arthur Bigg [b1891], Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Keeble’s Farm, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1891), Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone (1901), Cavalry Barracks, Butt Road, Colchester, Essex (1911), Shiplake Court School, Lower Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire [1930] (1939), 186 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames [1969].  Occupation: Soldier (1911), Chauffeur (1939).  Married: Martha Newland in 1920 (Cook).  Service Record: Enlisted before 1910 as Pte.4515 with 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars, Robert was posted to France from 15.8.1914 as part of 3rd Cavalry Brigade.  For more details see the record above of his brother Arthur who served in the same unit.  Robert retired from the Army in 1927.  Died: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on 13.3.1969.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Reading, Berks.  Recorded as Robert Biggs on his Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].  Date of death fro the National Probate Calendar.

BIGG, Samuel James 1887-1918

Born: Edwardstone, Suffolk in 1887.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to William Alfred Bigg [b1876], Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891], Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Keeble’s Farm, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1891), Gamekeepers Lodge, Round Maple, Edwardstone (1901), Knotting Green, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire (1911), Eastwick, Hertfordshire [1918].  Occupation: Second Gamekeeper (1911).  Service Record: Samuel attested as Pte.10677 with 6th [Service] Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, transferring to 1st Bedfords and posted to France from 30.7.1915 as part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division.  Private Bigg’s unit saw action during the Somme Offensive of 1916 and the Battles of Arras and Third Ypres in 1917.  Died: Samuel was killed in action on 26.4.1918 near Tannay, during the German Spring Offensive and is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery Extension (grave ref: I.F.26), Nord, France and commemorated on the War Memorial at Eastwick in Hertfordshire.[1]

[1] For the movements of 1st Bedfords during Bigg’s time with the unit see War Diary [WO 95/1570/1-2].  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 715275], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BIGG, Spencer 1889-1918

Born: Shimpling, Suffolk on 10.1.1889.  Parents: William Bigg (Farmer in Long Melford) [see detail below] and Mary [née Boggis].  Family Connections: Brother to Charles Bigg [b1890] and Walter Bigg [b1895].  Home: Gifford’s Farm, Shimpling, Suffolk (1891), Burton’s Farm, Clare Road, Long Melford (1901), emigrated to Canada [1909].  Service Record: Recorded as Able Seaman No. VR/5372 with the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve, Spencer was serving on the battle class naval trawler HMCS Arleux in 1918.  Died: He died on 10.10.1918 and is buried in Sydney [Hardwood Hill] Cemetery, Nova Scotia, Canada and commemorated on the Long Melford War Memorial.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 17.2.1889, St George Church, Shimpling, Suffolk.  See Passenger List for the SS Empress of Ireland 23.3.1909.  See also his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

BIGG, Walter 1895-1918

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 24.8.1895.  Parents: William Bigg (Farmer in Long Melford) [see detail below] and Mary [née Boggis].  Family Connections: Brother to Spencer Bigg [b1889] and Charles Bigg [b1890].  Home: Burton’s Farm, Clare Road, Long Melford (1901 and 1911), Borley Place, Sudbury, Suffolk [1918].  Service Record: Walter was a member of the Long Melford Volunteer Training Corps in 1915.  He attested as Pte.6709 in the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry in 1916.  He was later promoted to Lieutenant serving with 1/8th [Territorial] Battalion, DLI, as part of 151st Brigade, 50th [Northumbrian] Division, the battalion seeing action during the Somme Offensive of 1916, and the Battles of Arras and Third Ypres in 1917.

From 21.4.1918, the first day of the German Spring Offensive, until the end of the month, the Battalion came under immense pressure from overwhelming numbers of enemy troops and artillery bombardments, forcing it to stage a fighting withdrawal, to protect it from the threat of encirclement.  After only a week’s respite 8th DLI was under attack near the town of Merville, being forced again to make a series of rear-guard actions, which lasted on and off for the rest of the month, in what became known as the Battle of the Lys.  By the second week of May the Battalion had been transferred to a different battle front a hundred miles to the south, in the Aisne valley.  On the morning of 27.5.1918 the Battalion was dug in on high ground near Chevreux when it came under a concerted attack, which eventually overran its positions, leaving seven men dead, seventy wounded and nearly four-hundred others missing.  The various actions mentioned are covered in great detail in the Battalion’s War Diary for April and May 1918, including the demise of Lieutenant Bigg.  Died: Walter was killed during this action, is buried in La Ville-Aux-Bois British Cemetery [grave ref: I.J.8], Aisne, France and commemorated on the Thetford Grammar School Roll of Honour and the Long Melford War Memorial.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 22.9.1895, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  For Training Corps article see Suffolk and Essex Free Press 10.3.1915, and for notification of his commission see London Gazette 11.1.1916, p.465.  For details of 8th DLI’s movements see War Diaries [WO 95/2841/1-6 and WO 95/2842/1-4].  Also see his Commonwealth War Graves Commission record, British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 file [ref: 41716], Service Medal and Award Rolls 1914-1918 [WO 329] and Service Medal and Award Rolls Index Cards 1914-1922 [WO 372].

BIGG, Wilfred Howard 1875-1968

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 25.8.1875.  Parents: George Howard Bigg (Clergyman) and Ellen Priscilla [née Hack].  Home: The Rectory, Marholm, Northamptonshire (1881), The Vicarage, Great Harrowden, Northamptonshire (1891), living with Gulielma Halse (aunt) at 27 Castletown Road, Fulham, London (1901) and at Glenthorne, Hatch End, Middlesex (1911), 22 Earls Court Road, Kensington, London [1916], Home Farm, Welcombe Park, Bideford, Devon (1939).  Occupation: Bank Clerk (1901 and 1911), Retired Bank Official (1939).  Married: Phyllis Edith Ames Dennis in 1927.  Service Record: Wilfred enlisted on 23.2.1916 as Pte.G/58362 with the Royal Fusiliers, being mobilised on 3.8.1917 engaged in Home Service only.  He transferred as Cpl.15242 to the Army Pay Corps and received his discharge in 1920.  Died: Bideford, Devon in 1968.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the Baptism Register 26.9.1875, Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford.  See also his Soldiers’ Documents and Pension Claims, First World War [WO 364].

BIGG, William 1863-1947

Born: Stanstead, Suffolk on 1.4.1863.  Parents: Charles Bigg (Farmer) and Susannah [née Spencer].  Family Connections: Father of Spencer Bigg [b1889], Charles Bigg [b1890] and Walter Bigg [b1895].  Home: Dales Farm, Stanstead, Suffolk (1871 and 1881), Gifford’s Farm, Shimpling, Suffolk (1891), Burton’s Farm, Clare Road, Long Melford (1901) and [1919], Byways, Kings Hill, Great Cornard, Suffolk (1939) to [1947].  Occupation: Farmer (1891) to [1919 and beyond], Retired Farmer (1939).  Married: Mary Boggis [d1905] in 1888 and Anne Boggis in 1907.  Service Record: William was a member of the Suffolk County Agricultural War Committee and the Melford War Agricultural Sub-Committee 1916 to 1919.  In 1917 he also acted as a recruiting canvasser in Melford District.  Died: Great Cornard, Suffolk on 24.3.1947.[1]

[1] Date of birth from Baptism Register 28.4.1863, St James Church, Stanstead, Suffolk.  Date of death from the National Probate Calendar.

BIGG, William Alfred 1875-1946

Born: Long Melford, Suffolk on 2.8.1875.  Parents: Edward Bigg of Long Melford (Gamekeeper) and Anna Maria [née Jaffin].  Family Connections: Brother to Harry Bigg [b1883], Charles Bigg [b1885], Samuel James Bigg [b1887], Robert John Bigg [b1890], Arthur Bigg [b1891] Ernest Bigg [b1893] and Edward Frank Bigg [b1895].  Home: Keeble’s Farm, Edwardstone, Suffolk (1881, 1891), Assington Road, Newton, Suffolk (1901), Newton Green, Suffolk (1911 to 1939).  Occupation: Assistant Gamekeeper (1891), Gamekeeper (1901, 1911).  Married: Alice Chaplin in 1898.  Service Record: No definitive military record found.  Died: Sudbury, Suffolk in 1946.[1]

[1] Date of birth from the 1939 Register for Newton Green, Suffolk.

Research by David Gevaux MA © 2022

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