Blackmore Area Local History

First World War Commemoration:
Gerald Wellesley Pigott

Died in the First World War.
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Gerald Wellesley Pigott

War Memorial: Place and inscription
Blackmore War Memorial: Sec Lieut G.W.Pigott R.F.A.
Church Window: 2nd Lt Gerald W.Pigott
Doddinghurst War Memorial Tablet, All Saints Church
Ongar & District War Memorial Hospital Roll of Honour (Blackmore), out of sequence at end of Blackmore list and misspelled G W Piggot. Not duplicated on Doddinghurst list [ERO A10815].

Rank:
Second Lieutenant

Regiment:
Royal Field Artillery. 127th Battery. 29th Brigade Regiment  [CWGC]

Service Details:
On 15 August 1914 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.  [London Gazette]

PIGOTT, GERALD WELLESLEY 2nd Lieut 127th Battery Royal Field Artillery, only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Wellesley George Pigott, of Blackmore House, Co Essex, J. P., commanding 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade (now on active service), by his wife Helen Louise, only dau. of the late Captain Thomas Donaldson 3rd KO Hussars, by his wife Helen Louisa Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Richard Andrew Hyacinth Kirwan, of Bawnmore Co Galway JP and grandson of the Rev Wellesley Pigott M. A., Rector of Fugglestone cum Bemerton (fourth son of Sir George Pigott 1st Bart); born South Weald co. Essex 3 Sept 1896; educated West Downs, Winchester (1905-10), Wellington College (1910 --13) and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (Feb-Jul 1914); gazetted 2nd lieutenant 3rd Battalion Essex Regiment 15 Aug1914; transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, 15 Jan 1915; and posted to the 127th battery at the front in March; served in France and Flanders, and was wounded at Brielen during the 2nd Battle of Ypres 13 May 1915 by shrapnel, which struck him in the head.  He was taken to the dressing station, and from there conveyed to the no. 2 Clearing Station at Bailleul, where he died 14 May 1915.  Buried at the British Officers Cemetery Bailleul; unm.  The Officer Commanding the 29th Brigade RFA wrote "he was such a good lad, and had the making of a most capable officer, and he will be greatly missed", and the Officer Commanding 127th battery "I am sure if your boy had lived he would have made a very good soldier; he was very keen and had plenty of pluck" [De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour].

Medal card: ø Victoria, British RFA Off 132 p.188

           15 star RFA Off 132 p. 17D             IVX/2164 d/21.4.21 NW/7/84443

Reverse: App for medals 8/3/21 [mother] Mrs HL Pigott New Brockenhurst. [Ancestry.com]

Personal and family information:
Son of Lt. Col. Wellesley Pigott, O.B.E. (The Rifle Brigade) and Helen, of The Weirs Cottage, Brockenhurst, Hants. Educated at West Downs (near Winchester); Wellington College, Berks and R.M.A., Woolwich. Born at Pilgrims Hatch, Essex.  [Ancestry.com]

1901 Census.
Gerald Pigott, age 4 born South Weald, living with his mother Helen (aged 38, born
Dublin, Ireland) at Blackmore House, Lt. Col. Pigott absent.

1911 Census.
Student at
Wellington College, Easthampstead, Berkshire.

Following Gerald’s death his father, Wellesley G Pigott, related to Revd. Edward Reeve (Rector of Stondon Massey) that the War Office could not allow his son's body to be brought home for burial in Doddinghurst churchyard.  A memorial service was held instead on 21st May 1915 with Revd. Adams (Doddinghurst Rector) and Revd. Reeve officiating.  He is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord).

Blackmore House by Brentwood Essex
May 18th 1915

Mr dear Reeve

I expect that you have heard that Gerald has died of his wounds in Flanders.  We had hoped to have been allowed to bring his body home and lay it to rest in Doddinghurst Churchyard but we hear from the War Office that as he died in the zone that this is not allowed so we must let him rest where he is at present.  We are having a memorial service on Friday at 3.30pm in Doddinghurst Church and we both much hope that you will take part in the service. I have mentioned this to Mr Adams and he fully concurs and asks me to write to you.

Yrs sincerely
Wellesley G Pigott

A further letter, black edged, was sent to the Rector of Stondon Massey.

Blackmore House. Brentwood Essex.
May 22nd 1915

My dear Reeve

Thank you so much for your very kind letter which we both appreciate very much. We also wish to thank you for taking part in the service yesterday and for helping to make it such a beautiful service as it was.  I have attended many services that have been beautifully rendered but I don’t think I ever was present at one that was so much what one would have wished from every point of view and one felt that every one in the Church was there from a sense of real affection for him.

We have had full details of his last hours, he was struck in the head by a shell bursting just above him and was rendered unconscious at once and remained so until his death 21 hours after so we have the great consolation of knowing that he never suffered and never even knew that he had been hit. The doctors say that had his life been spared he would probably have been blind for life and very likely his brain permanently injured as well so it is much best as it is.

With renewed thanks from us both.

Yrs very sincerely
Wellesley G Pigott  [ERO T/P 188/3] 
Gerald Pigott’s photograph appeared in Essex County Chronicle, 21st May 1915, under the heading “Essex Black Week: Sad Losses: Photographs. First Battalion Essex Regiment Officers”.  He was described as “Only child of Col. and Mrs. Wellesley Pigott. Blackmore House, killed in action.” 

For more information about the Pigott family go to the Blackmore families page.

Date of Death:
14th May 1915

Age:
18

Where died:
Gerald Wellesley Pigott was killed in action in the second battle for Ypres. 14th May 1915. Aged 18.  He was killed by a shell that exploded near him at Brielen. [http://www.123people.co.uk] 

Place of Burial or Commemoration:
Buried at the British Officers Cemetery Bailleul.

List of Sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC),  Ancestry.com, London Gazette, Essex Record Office.


War Memorial


Church Window


Doddinghurst
War Memorial
Tablet

Great War Gallery
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Go to top Data produced by the Blackmore War Memorial Research Project Group: Bruno Giordan, Diana Abel, Andrew Smith.
Last Updated: 24 July 2010