Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Ferguson Bigger was born in October 1854 and completed his education at University College, London. Awarded the Diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons in November 1875 and appointed a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in November 1877, he joined the Indian Medical Department as a Surgeon in the following year. A member of the Zaimukht Expedition in Afghanistan between 1879-80, where he was present at the action of Zawa and won entitlement to the Afghanistan Medal, Bigger was also present in the Chin-Lushai operations of 1889-90, being Mentioned in Despatches.
'Surgeon Major S.F. Bigger, at Medagiri, had the heaviest work of the Campaign in dealing with the sickness of the followers, and ensuring their satisfactory transit when invalided to the base. His duties were discharged in a most able and admirable manner, and reflect the highest credit on his judgment and ability' (Governor-General's Order 677 refers).
Promoted to Surgeon-Major in March 1890, he went on to witness further active service in the Waziristan operations of 1894-95 and the Tirah operations of 1897-98, the latter including the action of Dargai and another Mention in Despatches (Governor-General's Order 244 refers). Bigger was advanced to Lieutenant-Colonel in March 1898 and placed on the Retired List in September 1903.