Norman Rigby, Private D/2394, 6th Dragoons (Inniskilling)
Died 2nd July 1917 in Somme, France, aged 24
Norman Rigby was baptised on 26 February 1893 at St Peter’s Church, Windmill St, Macclesfield, the son of Agnes Elizabeth and Charles Rigby, a painter of 12 Canal St, Macclesfield. Times must have been hard for the family, as Norman, his mother, and his baby brother George Henry were admitted to the workhouse for two nights on 19 December 1894. The two boys were readmitted on 1 August 1899, presumably when their mother became ill or after she died, and removed by their father on 11 November the same year.
In the 1901 census, eight-year-old Norman was recorded at House 5 Court 3, King Street, Macclesfield with his father, a blacksmith’s labourer, and brother George, aged 6.
Norman attended Macclesfield Industrial School, and left the school in 1908. In 1911 he was serving in Mhow, central India with the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons.
Trumpeter Rigby was probably still serving with the Dragoons in India when war broke out and was drafted with his regiment to France, landing there on 16 December 1914. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 3 August 1917:
MACCLESFIELD’S ROLL OF HONOUR – In the official casualty list this week appears the following: Trumpeter N. Rigby, 6th Dragoons, Macclesfield, killed in action.
Private Norman Rigby is buried in Grave Ref. I. B. 22. of the Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Norman Rigby, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private Norman Rigby is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and Macclesfield Industrial School war memorials. He is also remembered on a gravestone in Macclesfield Cemetery, plot Z.18502, which has the inscription:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN RIGBY
WHO DIED AUG 12TH 1901, AGED 67 YEARS
ALSO HANNAH RIGBY,WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED NOV 12TH 1911, AGED 82 YEARS
ALSO CHARLES RIGBY, SON OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JAN 9TH 1918, AGED 34 YEARS
ALSO TRUMPETER NORMAN RIGBY, 6TH DRAGOON GUARDS
GRANDSON OF THE ABOVE
KILLED IN ACTION JULY 2ND 1917, AGED 24 YEARS.
Elsewhere, he is remembered on the Irish Memorial Roll of WWI.
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast): St Peter’s Church, Windmill St, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Family History Society of Cheshire: Macclesfield Area Monumental Inscriptions CD
Irish Memorial Roll (Ancestry)
Macclesfield Advertiser: 3 August 1917