Joseph Piggot was a British-Australian soldier who won the Croix de guerre (Belgium) in World War I.
Joseph Victor Piggott (1893-1919) was born in Clarborough, Retford, Nottinghamshire. His father Francis Henry Piggott was from Peterborough and his mother Sarah Annette Piggott (née Deacon) was from Uffington in Berkshire. They settled on Grove Lane, Retford. Francis was a railway telegraph storekeeper while Sarah was a school mistress. Joseph's brothers and sisters were Francis Harry (born 1881), Reginald, Albert, Annette, Marjorie, Elsie, Shirley and Joseph Victor (born 15 February 1893).
By the 1911 Census only Joseph and his sister Elsie were living with their parents. At this time, Joseph was 18 and an apprentice engineer.
In 1913, Joseph left Retford for Cobbadah, New South Wales, Australia, and found work as a school teacher. Joseph joined the 1st Light Horse on 10 November 1915 but transferred to 2nd Australian Field Artillery Brigade serving with the 102 Howitzer Battery. He saw active service in Egypt, Syria and France. He was gassed three times in France.
He was mentioned in despatches seven times and was decorated with the Croix de Guerre by HM the King of the Belgians.
When the war ended he was repatriated to Australia (5 January 1919) and returned to England after he was discharged on the SS Beltana, arriving at Tilbury, London, 20 October 1919. He is listed on the passenger list as Joseph Victor Piggott 26 yrs a school teacher previously with the Army.
Death and commemoration
He returned to live with his parents who cared for him until his death on 25 October 1919. The Retford Times (7 November 1919) notes: "Although weak and ill he managed to get about a little until Thursday, when he rapidly grew worse, and in spite of careful nursing he succumbed". His probate record shows him as Joseph Victor Piggott of Groveleigh, 46 Grove Lane Retford, died on 25 October 1919, with effects of £191.8s.5d awarded to his father. He was engaged to Edith Hatch at the time of his death.
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