George Frederick Piggott, Lieutenant 202346, 5th Bn (attached 13th Bn) Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 23rd March 1918 in France, aged 25
George Frederick Piggott was born on 8th January 1893, the son of Catherine and George Piggott, a grocer of 341 Park Lane, Macclesfield.
George’s father died in 1900 and in 1901, at the age of 8, George was living at 89, Crompton Road with his mother and siblings Kate (19), a book-keeper; Charles (17), an electrical engineer; and Doris (5). George’s mother died in 1905.
George was educated at St John’s Church of England School, attaining Standard Grade IV. By 1911, he was working as a reporter and living at 97, Chestergate, with his uncle, William Enoch Harrop, a music warehouseman. George later found employment as a reporter with the South Wales Daily Argus, whose head offices are at Newport, Gwent.
Initially George served in the Territorial Force (Cheshire Regiment), with service no. 2146, before gaining his commission.
George served in France and was posted as missing on 23rd March 1918, later being confirmed as killed in action on that date, aged 25 years. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 20 September 1918:
KILLED – With much regret we record the death in action of Second-Lieut G F Piggott, of Macclesfield, who for a considerable period had been serving in France with a battalion of the Cheshire Regt. In March last, Lieut Piggott took part in the fierce fighting which marked the beginning of the great German offensive. On the 24th of the month he was posted as ‘missing,’ and, although exhaustive enquiries were made, the only information that could be obtained was that he was last seen with a detachment of British troops fighting gallantly to stem the German on-rush, but that he and his men were at that time very nearly surrounded. On Friday last the sad sequel came to his relatives, in a War Office notice that information had been received from a sergeant of the Cheshires, now a prisoner of war in Germany, to the effect that Lieut Piggott had been killed in action…
Lieut Piggott was 24 years of age and the second son of the late Mr George Piggott, of Crompton Rd, Macclesfield. Educated… at Mill Street Higher Grade School… he was afterwards trained for journalism and when war broke out held an appointment on the staff of the “South Wales Daily Argus” whose head offices are at Newport. He was eager to join up, and hearing that a second line battalion was being formed of the 7th Cheshire Territorials (with whom he had previously trained) he journeyed to Macclesfield and enlisted. In less than a week he was made sergeant and subsequently, when a third line battalion was former, he was transferred to it as Company Sergeant-Major. With this battalion he served for a considerable time, first at Aberystwyth and later at Oswestry. Then he applied for a commission, was accepted, and passed through his cadet training at Oxford, being quartered in Oriel College. Immediately on being gazetted he proceeded to France on active service, and there very quickly gained the confidence of his superior officers. For a time he represented his battalion at one of the reinforcement depots, and later was Assistant Adjutant and Musketry Officer. In the British attack at Messines, he ‘went over the top’ in charge of a company, and although his unit suffered many losses he came through unscathed. Subsequently he was in the line at different parts of the British front.
Lieut Piggott only had one short leave from France, which he spent with his relatives in Macclesfield. Another leave had been due to him for some time, and in one of his last letters he looked forward with eager pleasure to seeing his friends once more. His death inflicts heavy sorrow upon a brother and two sisters…
Lieut George Piggott is commemorated on Panel Ref. 35 and 36 of the Pozieres Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Lieut George Piggott, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Lieut George Piggott is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St George’s Street Baptist Church war memorials. The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21 September 1921 included one with the words “In loving memory of Lieutenant G. F. Piggott.”
Lieut. Piggott’s medals were claimed in 1923 by his brother Charles, who lived in Bramhall.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 20 September 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)
Macclesfield Courier: 24 September 1921