Lieutenant James Huggan

Lieutenant James Laidlaw Huggan, M.I.D., Royal Army Medical Corps attd. 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. He was killed in action in France, aged 25, on the 16th September 1914 during the Battle of the Aisne. He had been born in Jedburgh and was the son of the late Robert Huggan of Jedburgh and Isabella Huggan of Edinburgh.  He had been educated at George Watson’s school, Edinburgh before later going up to Edinburgh University in 1905.  He graduated M.B. & Ch.B. in 1911 and was commissioned into the R.A.M.C in 1911. He played rugby for the University, the London Scottish and was capped for Scotland in 1914.  On the 16th September the troops were under heavy shellfire near Soupir and with others Lieut. Huggan volunteered to go into a blazing barn to rescue both British and German wounded. After this extraordinary display of courage he helped place these men  in a nearby quarry but shortly afterwards a heavy German shell hit this position causing many casualties including the brave Lieutenant. He had already distinguished himself treating the wounded on the retreat from Mons and during the action at Landrecies and had been mentioned in Despatches. The C.O. of the 3rd Coldstream wrote of him ” If ever I met a brave man, he was.  At Villers Cotterets he was conspicuous for his bravery. This was a rearguard action and the line was being pushed back; but he was always in the rear and sometimes even nearer to the enemy, dressing the wounded and helping them back “. He is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.  The photos show British troops on the Aisne.

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