John Warwick Huggins was born 2 June 1886 at Crosby Ravensworth, Westmorland, the youngest child of Isaac Huggins and Mary Jane Huggins (née Warwick). In 1901 John and his sister Jessie Ann were teachers, in John’s case acting as a pupil teacher at Whitehaven St James’ National School, the same school that he had attended. He studied at Bede College 1905-1907, earning a final report that he was ‘noisy, talkative, hardworking’, but that he ‘does not get enough out of his pupils’. During his time in the College he was also a member of B Company, 8 Durham Light Infantry, serving as Private 8193. A keen sportsman, Jack Huggins played both amateur and then professional football during the 1906/07-1908-09 seasons for Sunderland AFC and Reading FC, and locally for Durham City and Wingate. In the summer months he also played cricket for Sunderland, Wheatley Hill and Castle Eden. By 1909 he was employed at Swansea Road Council School in Reading, and then in May began work as a Certificated Assistant (Grade A) at Wheatley Hill Boys Secondary School. His name appears in the school log book infrequently, usually recording an absence for illness, however on 22 February 1911 the head teacher wrote ‘On the classes resuming work this afternoon I found that Mr J W Huggins was absent and on enquiry learned that he had gone to play in a football match. I have received no official information that he had been granted leave of absence, neither has he spoken to me personally’. Mr Bowhill’s annoyance radiates from the page, but no repercussions of this event are recorded. For 12 weeks in early 1913 John Huggins was absent with a fractured shin bone – possibly a football related injury. While at Wheatley Hill he started a school football team ‘which carried all before them, and won cups and medals in everything in which they entered’. Huggins volunteered for military service in September 1914, re-joining 8 DLI. The battalion entered France on 20 April 1915, and within three days it was ordered into the front line to take part in the 2nd Battle of Ypres. It was during this fighting that Huggins was killed, although for a long time he was believed a prisoner of war: it was not until late 1915 that information from the Red Cross indicated that he had been killed in action and buried by German soldiers at Wallemolen, near Roeselare. Official records still disagree on his date of death, but he was probably killed or mortally wounded at Gravenstafel Ridge, east of Ypres, on 25 April, but his death or capture being unreported, he was only officially recorded as killed in action on 27 November 1915. Major Veitch's 1927 history of the 8th Battalion records it was Huggins and another Bede man, Lance Corporal Robert Henry Robson, who volunteered during the action to man a machine gun whose gunners, from the 8th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, had all been killed: Veitch states Huggins was killed in the fight, and Robson mortally wounded. Huggins is buried in Perth Cemetery (China Wall), east of Ypres, his body having been moved from the German cemetery at Wallemolen after the war. He is also honoured in Durham on the Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour, the Durham County Council war memorial at County Hall, and the Durham County Cricket Club Roll of Honour. In Wheatley Hill he is remembered on a memorial plaque in All Saints' Church, on a memorial cross in the cemetery there, and on the Roll of Honour of the Constitution Club. His fellow footballers commemorate his sacrifice on a plaque at Sunderland's Stadium of Light and Reading Football Club published a short piece on his life in August 2014. A fuller biography, on which this is based, is published on the council's website.