Michael Higgins was born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland in April 1897. In 1912 he joined the Connaught Rangers and served with during WW1. On his discharge in 1920, he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary then applied to join the Palestine Gendarmerie in 1922. When the Gendarmerie was disbanded in April 1926, he transferred to the Palestine Police as a Corporal. He was later promoted to British Inspector, and retired back to Ireland in 1947 where he lived for 20 years until his death.
Higgins married during his time in Palestine, and he and his wife had 3 children. The family were evacuated from Palestine under Operation Polly in early 1947 due to escalating tensions in the region.