Campaign Service Medal, bar Northern Ireland, Operation Service Medal, bar Afghanistan, 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal, UN Medal for Cyprus, Nato Medal bar ISAF, Colonel C.J. Higham, R.A.M.C.
Campaign Service Medal impressed: “Capt. C.J. Higham RAMC”
Operational Service Medal laser engraved: “Col C. J. Higham Staff”
The highest rank we have seen on an Operational Service Medal, Colonel Higham had retired by the time of the Afghanistan conflict and came out of retirement with the reserves to Command the Territorial Army 212 Yorkshire Field Hospital as their Colonel, they took over the Medical Centre at Camp Bastion when it was only a few tents with volunteer staff.
Christopher John Higham, was born on 21st January 1955, in Rugby, Warwickshire, he was first commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps as 2nd Lieutenant on 23rd May 1980, he was a Registered Mental Nurse and Registered General Nurse, by 1st July 1989 he was a Major, RAMC Nursing Officer.
In 1995 he was a Major, Special Service Officer .
He officially retired to the reserves on 1st October 1996 with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps.
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, QARANC Territorial Army on 1st December 1999.
In January 2002 he was recalled for service with the Infantry Reserve Corps, being promoted to Colonel on 25th November 2004, and did a tour of Afghanistan as C.O. of 212 (Sheffield Volunteers) Field Hospital in 2007, appearing to go back into his retirement around 2009.
212 Field Hospital had charge of the Medical Facility at Camp Bastion, which was operational from 2006-2014, during the Afghanistan conflict and performed many life saving operations, Col DSG Graham who commanded the 2nd Scots during Op Herrick 13 said, “The medical system was almost unbeatable. Without doubt I brought back over half a dozen of my soldiers who survived because of the medical professionalism that currently exists in Theatre; that is humbling.”
212 Field Hospital did their tour from May to July 2007, at the time it was still a tented facility and it was not until February 2008 they had a purpose built hospital to work with.
They were not only tasked with saving the life of British Soldiers, even enemy Taliban Fighters and the innocent bystanders, women & children who were injured.
The daily mail article above written in September 2007 details the tour and Surgeon Lt Colonel Andy Bruce who was present during the tour with 212 Field Hospital as one of their operating surgeons, describes the situation.
Jersey Evening Post, 14th June 2005;
“MASH is in Jersey this week, TA Field Hospital built in St Peter.
Around 180 members of a TA regiment that can set up a 200-bed hospital wherever it is needed are in Jersey for their annual camp.
The soldiers, camped in a tented town behind the Airport Social Club, are all part of 212 Field Hospital, which is based in Sheffield.
The unit was last in the Island eight years ago.
The regiment contains all the health professionals that you would expect to find in a district general hospital, from consultants and anaesthetists to pharmacists and radiologists.
The only significant difference is that 212's hospital is under canvas and its staff are trained to fight as well as save life.
212's commanding officer is Colonel Chris Higham.
'Moving such a sizeable number of people to Jersey is a challenge but that is important training in itself,' he said.
'It would be relatively easy to move to a base in the UK but in coming to Jersey we have had to ship everything ourselves.
'And we have had to address such issues as hygiene, drainage and access to create what amounts to a small village in St Peter.
But we have also received support from local units and individuals, who have helped us put together an active programme that will ensure that our training is not only valuable but makes the best use of this fantastic island.'”
The Star, 28th December 2007;
“ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS CADETS IN REBADGING CEREMONY
RAMC Headquarters at Endcliffe Hall in Sheffield was the venue for a rebadging ceremony which saw 20 Army cadets and adult instructors presented with new berets and cap badges in front of proud parents and guests.
The ceremony was conducted by Colonel Chris Higham RAMC, Commanding Officer of 212 Field Hospital.
The Colonel addressed the parade expressing his pride at being able to welcome the officers, adult instructors and cadets to the Royal Army Medical Corps.
He also spoke of his delight in having the opportunity to meet all the young cadets as well as taking a look at planned future training activities.
Following the parade, Colonel Higham and detachment Commander Captain Martin Charlesworth exchanged regimental plaques to mark the occasion.”
Later in 2008 as reported in the Bourne Local, Colonel Chris Higham from 212 Field Hospital, Sheffield, gave a guest talk on his experiences in a field hospital in Afghanistan at the Officers’ Study Day in Lincolnshire.