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Thomas`s parents were Richard Rigby and Mary Alice Bromley Breakell who married in St. Peter`s Church, Preston on 22nd November, 1884. Richard Rigby was a housepainter by trade. Richard and Mary Alice had five children, the first two daughters Elizabeth E (b. 1887) and Agnes (b.1890) were born in Preston.

The family then moved to Fleetwood, Lancashire before the next daughter Isabella was born in 1892 and she was followed by Thomas also born in Fleetwood in 1896.

In 1898 the family were back in Preston again and another daughter Mary Ann was born and it was at this time Thomas`s mother Mary Alice died.

By the time of the 1911 Census Thomas was living at home at 198 Brook Street, Preston with his father Richard and a lady who appears to be a stepmother named Sarah. Thomas`s sister Isabella is also at home together with another young boy called Richard. Thomas`s occupation is listed as housepainter just like this father Richard.

On 17th August, 1913 Thomas Rigby married Margaret Ann Hesketh at Emmanuel Church, Preston. A son Arthur was born in in the March quarter of 1914.

Later on that same year on 17th December, 1914, Thomas enlisted at Preston and was given the service number 3454 which would later change to 201145. At his medical examination Thomas is described as being 5`5” tall and he also confirmed that he was born in the Parish of St. Pauls, Fleetwood and that his occupation was a painter.

Thomas was posted to “C” Coy, 1/4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

On the 3rd March, 1916 Thomas embarked at Southampton arriving at the 55th Base Depot at Rouen in France two days later.

On the 26th March, 1916 Thomas joined his Battalion in the field.

At some point during the action at Guillemont on 8th August 1916, Thomas received a gunshot wound to his left hand and was taken to a casualty clearing station and from there was sent on to 26 General Hospital, Etaples where he remained for three days.

On the 13th August, 1916 Thomas returned to England on board the Hospital Ship Dieppe and from there transferred to the Norfolk War Hospital in Thorpe, Norwich for treatment to his injury where he remained for 34 days.

There is no further detail on where Thomas went after hospital but on the 17th April, 1917 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion LNL.

On the 3rd May, 1917 Thomas Rigby was on board the ship the SS Transylvania when she left Marseille bound for Alexandria.

The following report appeared in the Preston Guardian on 26th May, 1917.


The Transylvania sank on 4th May, 1917. The body of Private Thomas Rigby was one of the few recovered and he was buried in the Savona Town Cemetery.

Thomas`s widow Margaret Ann was awarded a pension of 8/9d for herself and one child from 19/11/17.

Margaret Ann Rigby remarried to a Mr. John Burke some time in 1918 in Preston.

Private Thomas Rigby was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and his widow Margaret Ann signed for them in 1921 using the name Mrs. Burke and the address 1 Mansfield Street, Preston.

Rank: Private
Service No: 201145
Date of Death: 04/05/1917
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 4th Reserve Bn.

This article is published on behalf of Janet Davis.

Janet Davis
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One Response to 201145 PTE. T. RIGBY. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Barbara O'Donnell says:

    Thomas Rigby was my great uncle, my Nanna’s brother. Thank-you for this article!

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