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Miss Millicent Trilby Higgins is the surgery receptionist who works with GP, Patrick Turner & Nurse/Midwife, Shelagh Turner at the local surgery and maternity home. She makes her first appearance in the 2018 Christmas special. She is portrayed by Georgie Glen.

Appearance & Personality[]

Miss Higgins takes her job very seriously and is seen hatted and in formal civilian wear throughout her time on Call the Midwife. She is also a strong royalist, displaying a picture of the queen in several areas of Dr Turner's surgery.

Relationship with Sergeant Woolf[]

During the end of Series Eight and into the infancy of Series Nine, Miss Higgins develops a fondness for local police officer, Sergeant Aubrey Woolf. When Nurse Crane is in hospital, Miss Higgins visits her as does Sergeant Woolf and the two develop a liking for each other and begin some sort of relationship. They are seen dancing together at The Ballroom of Hope and by the start of series 9, they have a some what serious relationship. However, after Sergeant Woolf has a major heart attack in series 9 episode 2, he moves away to live with his sister and decides to terminate the relationship.

After Sergeant Woolf[]

In Series 10 Miss Higgins comes into her own more as a character. She accepts an invitation to spend Christmas day at Nonnatus House along with all of the other friends of the midwives, she is looking forward to having something to look forward to besides a service at her spiritualist church. Before the big day she and Phyllis Crane bond over feeling like maiden aunts and the endless box's of bath cubes, before Christmas they decide to arrange their own mini dinner where Millicent has an enormous bowl of trifle washed down with a Harvey Wallbanger and of course Miss Higgins writes a poem to go along with the meal. in S10 E03 the pair bond more and make unofficial plans to visit the Alhambra in Spain.

In S10 E05 to her horror a leaking pipe ruins all the surgery records. Miss Higgins also gets involved with a case of a pregnant teenager named Jeanette Owen who is diagnosed with pre eclampsia, when Jeanette tries to leave the maternity home and go to her boyfriends she trips on the stairs and injures herself, Miss Higgins saves her. When Jeanette gives birth to a baby boy he is named Oliver after the Dickens character, she reveals her middle name to be Trilby from a novel by George De Maurier. The baby is put up for adoption, she and her boyfriend Glen leave she is shown staring at them sadly. When Sister Frances in S10 E06 suggests evening classes exclusive to the Asian others of the community to help the mothers learn about the free health care available to them and help the midwives learn about their respective cultures Miss Higgins offers her services as translator. She learned Punjabi when her father was posted to India when it was still a British colony. When Timothy Turner gets admission into Edinburgh University she congratulates him and goes to the performance his siblings put on to wish him luck.

A new home[]

In Series 11 Miss Higgins doesn't turn up at the surgery which is noticed as strange as she's usually first in, it turns out her house was robbed and she temporarily moves into Nonnatus House. Lots of thoughts run through her mind, one being the loss of independence she fought so hard to attain, she is also shown to have some trauma, having difficulty grasping the thought of living alone again. Though she still has a hard time adjusting to the communal lives of the nuns and midwives, with even the making of a sandwich having standards. The nurses are eager for her to leave but she tells them she handed notice on her old home. In the end Sister Julienne speaks to the rector and she is able to move into the cottage across the road that used to belong to Tom Hereward and Barbara Hereward. She is more than happy to move there as, as she put it living with the midwives for two weeks made her realise how happy she was in her own company.

Phyllis Crane comes into the possession of £5000 due to a premium bond her late mother got her before becoming bed bound. At first she is not pleased but Miss Higgins persuades her to look at it in a different light, in the end Phyllis gets six weeks leave to go on a motor coach that takes in Belgium, France and Spain which she always dreamed of. Miss Higgins is invited to join her but she declines, though Phyllis goes write and send postcards.

The train crash[]

Just as Phyllis gets back to Britain for her last week of leave something terrible happens to Nancy, Sister Julienne and Dr Turner. The train they were traveling on collided with another causing the area she lives to face an explosion, she rushes out to help the remaining nurses assist the injured. When they get to Nonnatus House she is the first to realise the train that crashed had their colleagues on it and they could only hope they survived. In the aftermath of the crash, Miss Higgins tries to help the team to tend to people affected. When she goes to the surgery, she tells Sister Hilda about the crash and that the driver has been killed. Sister Hilda is horrified, especially as she is currently caring for the driver's wife. Before long, Nonnatus House is a mess with bloody dressings strewn everywhere, and she realizes some extra help is needed, so she calls Phyllis, who is currently in Rye, and tells her what's happened, forcing Phyllis to cut her trip short and return home. The drivers wife Edina is devastated by her husbands loss and looming inquest, her daughter was taunted at school because people think the driver Lionel was careless but Miss Higgins is able to speak to a connection of hers and she and Sister Hilda tell Edina that Lionel was suffering from a brain tumour that causes seizures, both assure Edina her husband was not to blame for the crash.

Post train crash[]

To help with the train crash relief effort Fred Buckle organises a talent show poplartunity knocks and Miss Higgins decides to enter playing her wood wind instruments and ropes Phyllis in to read a poem she wrote. The pair perform on stage but Miss Higgins isn’t a very good musician and they don’t get much of an applause.

Miss Higgins continues her work as the surgery receptionist working hard and valuing administration above all else. When sitting at a bench with Nancy Corrigan who had just finished nursing a terminally ill patient, Nancy is upset that her patient Olive’s secret girlfriend Jessie cannot be her next of kin, Miss Higgins says it was always a great comfort to her that after her parents death in the air raid she was recorded as their daughter and tells Nancy to tell to put present at death on the death certificate. Miss Higgins gets her helper Timothy back to volunteer at the surgery with her and congratulates him on coming second in his year. She is very annoyed when Timothy leaves his position to get paid work on a council bathing scheme, work neither she or Shelagh Turner were keen on. In S12 E08 Miss Higgins attends the wedding of Trixie Franklin, she lent her a handkerchief to use as her something borrowed as to her mind a lady should never be without one.

Family and friends[]

By her own admission, Miss Higgins is not from a large family. Her parents were killed in the course of an air raid in 1941. In the 2018 Christmas episode, she places a utility Christmas tree on her desk and explains to Shelagh that her parents bought it the year that war broke out and that it was one of the few things that made it out of the rubble of their home intact. In S08E03, she revealed she has an uncle living in Winnipeg, Canada. In S10E06, she reveals her father was in the Indian Civil Service. This instilled a love of India and when she was an adult she returned to India and fell in love with a man called Krishnan Chaudri and she ended up pregnant with his child, white Britons and Indians weren't supposed to mix so Krishnan had to leave her life forever. Her baby was a boy she called John, his adoptive parents named him Victor but in her mind he was always still John.

Years later Victor arrived in London having had health problems and mother and son were at last reunited, not only that she found out she had a grandson Harry studying to be a dentist in Liverpool. Millicent and Victor spent time together but it proved all too brief as he had a chronic kidney disease, she had to face the reality she may lose her son a second time. She finally met her grandson Harry and they sat at Victors bedside, Millicent drew small comfort from the fact she was able to be at her sons first and last breath, something not many mothers could say. Harry offered to place flowers on the Thames for her which she thought very kind of him.

Miss Higgins is close friends with Nurse Phyllis Crane, Phyllis is a regular guest at her house across the road from Nonnatus House and they sometimes have lunch together on a bench in the allotment. They performed in the talent show together in the 2022 Christmas Special though not to much applause, Miss Higgins also helps out at cub scouts. She also has something of a friendship with Nancy Corrigan and enjoys a cordial relationship with the Turners particularly Timothy who she is very proud of when he goes to university to become a doctor. She also appears to have numerous friends outside Poplar, including one in Suffolk who was rather talkative which put her off joining her for a week in August.

Trivia[]

  • In S10E05, Miss Higgins reveals her middle name to be Trilby after a novel by George du Maurier.
  • In S10E06, Miss Higgins reveals she speaks Punjabi.
  • Miss Higgins is a spiritualist and can get rather annoyed when people write it off as a parlour game rather than a religion.
  • Miss Higgins enjoys writing poetry and her work is sometimes mistaken for Patience Strong.
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