Lieutenant Commander Stanley Higgs, M.B.E. a Royal Navy man, was serving in Portland at the Naval Hospital there in 1937 when an opportunity arose for him to be loaned to the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a theatre technician and general help in the “hospital” at HMS PHILOMEL. On Higgs arrival in April 1937 in Devonport, New Zealand, he discovered the hospital consisted of two huts just inside the main entrance. He however stayed on, transferring to the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1 August 1946. Higgs was instrumental in the building of the Naval Hospital at HMNZS PHILOMEL as it now stands. Apart from sea time onboard the cruiser HMS LEANDER, Higgs spent virtually his whole career in the hospital.
In 1960 Stanley Higgs retired as Lieutenant Commander from the RNZN.