In Memoriam: Eric Herbert Bigland

Eric Herbert Bigland died near Ypres on 5th January, 1918, of wounds received in action, aged 24 years.

He was born at Middlesbrough in 1893 and joined Bootham School in the Summer Term of 1908.  He left Bootham in 1910.

At Bootham he was in the 2nd XI Cricket and 2nd XI Football.  He also played Fives and won the “Middle Schoolroom” class tournament in Autumn 1909. He won the mile race in Athletics in 1910, with a time of just over 5 mins 16 secs.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of March 1910 tells us:

“E. H. Bigland has used the forge in making a useful garden seat like those made for the field a year ago.”

Eric won a Workshop prize for this seat in the school annual Christmas Exhibition.

When he left school, “Bootham” of May 1910 reported in the Bene Decessit section:

“E. H. BIGLAND has been a member of the School for two years. He played for the 2nd XI. at football and cricket, being a good goalkeeper. He won the mile race in the Sports this year.”

Eric enlisted in the Army.  The March 1916 issue of “Bootham” published War Lists of those Old Scholars serving in various capacities and for those “Under Military Discipline” it shows:

“Bigland, E. H., Corporal, B Co., 7th Bn. Yorkshire Regt., British Expeditionary Force, France.”

Then in “Bootham” of June 1917, in “Across the Months”:

“E. BIGLAND. Wounded, July 1st, 1916, at Fricourt. Wounded at Beaumont Hamel, January 12th, 1917, left arm smashed, wounded in both legs. He writes from hospital at Bexhill, “I am going on fine.” “

However, “Bootham” May 1918 reports under “Deaths”:

“BIGLAND.—On the 5th January, 1918, of wounds in action, Eric Herbert Bigland (1908-10), of Middlesbrough, aged 24 years.”

Private Eric Herbert Bigland is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

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