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Rigg, Henry. Pte 52320 1/6 West Yorkshire Regiment.

Those who returned

The following was provided by one of his sister's grand daughters

Henry Rigg was born in 1898 in Baldersby near Ripon. His parents were William Rigg, who worked as a beamsman in a tannery, and Maria Rigg who was a dressmaker. Henry had one sister Edna born in 1905 born in Melmerby near Ripon. By 1911 they were living in Bridge Street in Yarm. They could have moved to Yarm because a great great uncle from Baldersby, Robert Rigg worked in the Yarm Tannery. Robert Rigg had married Margaret Thompson from Kirklevington 1864 whilst being a farm servant at Grove Farm in Kirklevington. They moved to the High Street in Yarm to set up their family.

When war broke out Henry was too young to sign up. However when he was 18 he would have been drafted. Pte Henry Rigg joined the West Yorkshire Regiment which had been fighting since 1915 and seen action on the Somme and Paschendaele. In 1918 they suffered further losses in rhe great German offensive of April. Captain EV Tempest wrote about the history of the 1/6th Batallion in ww1 and gave the following account:

“The total strength of the 1/6 batallion on 27th April,including the rear echelon, which had not taken part in the battle, consisted of seventeen officers and 210 other ranks....On the afternoon of April 29th the batallion moved back to Watou to be re-organised and to await drafts of reinforcements... Five separate drafts of reinforcements increased the strength of the Batallion by sixteen officers and 406 other ranks. Most of these drafts were composed of A IV. boys of eighteen and nineteen years of age.”

A indicated the healthiest of three grades. The brigade lost twenty two officers and 457 other ranks reported as casualties of the German offensive.Further research will be needed to find out if Henry was one of the 406 men.

Henry Rigg (3rd left - front row) sent several postcards to his sister Edna at Prospect House on West Street. There is a prospect House on Aislaby Road, but the name could have been given to the house at the end of West Street where it meets Bridge street - see 1899 map.

Therefore when Henry arrived, trench warefare was ending once the Ypres Salient was taken in August. The allies started advancing and the last conflict the 1/6th encountered was on 1st November at Famars near Valenciennes. They were relieved and marched to Evin Malmaison where ther were when they were when news that hositlities were to cease that following day at 11am on November 11th. The batallion spent nearly four months in Evin-Malmaison largely salvaging and dismantling German defences. The batallion then entrained at Douai on 24th February 1919 to join the Army of Occupation in Germany. The time was largely spent in Cologne (Koln) apart from a fortnight in June spent at Dunwald (near Leipzig) and Hilgen (between Wuppertal and Cologne).

Henry is front left on the group photograph.

The two cevrons on the uniform right arm worn by Henry in the picture below indicates he was wounded.

The men returned to England on ss Arundel landing on 17th Novemnber 1919 at Dover.

Those who returned

Yarm 1914 Research ________________

The Yarm 1914 Commemoration Group is carrying out research on the soldiers listed. We are finding where they lived in Yarm and will represent the findings in a wall of poppies presentation. More details will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and this web site. If you have any information please contact us. Left click on the picture below.