Difference between revisions of "Vernon Higham"

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Vernon Higham
Born 23 August 1927(1927-08-23)
Died 7 April 1999(1999-04-07) (aged 71)
Education St Thomas’s Primary School; Boston Grammar School (?-1944)
Employer Boston and District Electric Supply Company Limited (BESCO); Royal Signals; East Midlands Electricity Board
Spouse Margaret
Children Tim, Joe
Parents George, Rose
Relatives Beryl (cousin); Sam and Jake (grandchildren)

Vernon Higham was educated at Boston Grammar School (?-1944).


From the August 1999 issue of The Old Bostonian - by his sons, Tim and Joe

Vernon Higham was born on 23rd August 1927 to George and Rose Higham at Tytton Lane East, Wyberton. He went to school first at St Thomas's Primary School and then at Boston Grammar School which he left in 1944. During his childhood he was a regular member of the Choir at St Leodegar's, Wyberton and he remembered being in St Leodegar's in 1939 with the choir when the vicar came in to announce that Britain had declared war on Germany.

When he left school he joined the Electricity Company in Boston[1], where he worked for a short period before joining the Royal Signals for his National Service. In 1946 he was sent to Palestine together with all the other "H's" in his group in the Signals (the "A's" and "B's" probably had a jolly posting in the Bahamas!). He served in Palestine during the unrest between the Palestinians and the Jewish Irgun Zwaí Leumi headed by Menachem Begin and Stern gang, during which the British were vainly trying to maintain the peace. He enjoyed his time in Palestine seeing most of the famous sites of the Holy Land, until he was blown up by an Irgun land mine while travelling in a 3-ton truck near Haifa. Vernon was blinded in one eye in the explosion, but he was lucky, several of his colleagues were killed. He then spent over a year in a military hospital in Chester.

On leaving the army, Vernon returned to the Electricity Board, where he continued to work in a variety of positions in the Electricity Board shop and in the main offices. While at the Electricity Board he was a prominent member of NALGO, including being the NALGO representative for Boston Electricity Board for many years. He also took a great interest in Health and Safety at work, being a First Aid trainer and examiner for the Electricity Board.

In 1953 he married Margaret Allday and after living a short while in Wide Bargate with Margaret’s mother, they built themselves a house in West End Road, Wyberton where they lived until 1970. In 1959 and 1960 they had their two sons, Tim and Joe. It was also in the early 60's that they started caravanning, long before it was popular. Throughout the 1960's and 1970's they enjoyed great family caravanning holidays every year with Margaret’s sister's family all over Britain and Europe, from the far North West of Scotland right down to Italy and Switzerland. In 1970 they built their second house in Church Lane, Wyberton, where Vernon remained for the rest of his life.

Outside of the work and family environment Vernon led a very active social life. He had a long involvement with the Boston Scout movement, including time on the District Scout Committee. He was also a long serving and active member of the Boston Choral Society (where he sang as second bass all over Lincolnshire and elsewhere), Boston Concert Club and Boston British Heart Foundation serving on the committees of all these organisations. He was, for a long period, a Wyberton Parochial Church Councillor and for a short period a Wyberton Parish Councillor. He was also a member of the local Freemasons and latterly thoroughly enjoyed his monthly Probus meetings. He even took up bowling in his retirement.

In 1987 Margaret died suddenly and left Vernon as a widower shortly after his 60th birthday. This was undoubtedly a great blow but Vernon responded with great strength of character. He got on with his life throwing himself into his many interests. Vernon had been an only child, but with Margaret gone, Margaret's remaining brothers and their families and his cousin Beryl, responded by giving Vernon great support. He had enjoyable holidays with them and his sons and their families, including his grandchildren Sam and Jake. Many holidays were taken in Belgium, Brussels and elsewhere in Europe and Britain. During his last few years Vernon got great enjoyment from his regular lunch-time visits to the Moores Arms in Frampton.

Sadly his last year was dogged by depression but he was adamant he wanted to remain alone in his own house. He died on 7th April 1999 after a short illness.

Vernon was a physically large man, but always gentle and kind, disliking arguments and other interpersonal conflict. He was one of those few people in this world who never raised his voice and very rarely lost his temper. He was a man who loved meeting people and was always good and convivial company. He was a good listener and someone to whom people often confided.