Charles Ernest Higginbotham, born on 4th July 1866 in Anderston, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, the second son of Charles Titus Higginbotham and Agnes Higginbotham (nee Ker) of Craigmaddie, Milngavie.
He was educated at Cargilfield Prep School in Scotland and at Rugby before proceeding through Sandhurst to obtain a commission in the Northamptonshire Regiment in February 1887.
He followed a military career and was promoted to Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion in April 1890. He served in China from April 1887 to January1889, then in the Straits Settlements, a group of British territories in Southeast Asia, until November 1892.
During the Boer War, from July 1899 to July 1902, he was on the staff at Devonport, Portsmouth as Superintendent of Gymnasia, Western District. He subsequently served in South Africa from October 1902 to May 1907.
Captain C E Higginbotham was appointed DAAG Standerton District, Transvaal on 2nd Nov 1903 and was promoted to Major in June 1907. From 1909 to 1913 he was Superintendent of Gymnasia at Aldershot, encouraging all sports in the Army, and was Captain of the Aldershot Officers cricket team for several years.
On 23rd January 1909, at St Peters Church, Birch, Essex, he married Lucy Frances Round, the daughter of the Right Hon James Round of Birch Hall, Essex. They made their home at Highcliffe, Alexander Road, Farnborough, Hampshire.