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Alfred Walter Piggot was born in Bromley by Bow, London in late 1864.

On 20th September 1883, eighteen year old Albert enlisted in the East Yorkshire Regiment and was posted into their 1st Battalion as a Private. Upon enlistment, he stated his former occupation as having been a mariner/sailor in the Royal Navy Reserve.

In 1885, in Gibraltar he qualified as a stretcher bearer. Alfred spent just over a year in Gibraltar.

In January 1886 he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion in India. He was appointed Lance Corporal in December 1886, and promoted to Corporal in October 1888 just before he returned to the UK.

Alfred achieved his 4th class certificate of education in 1884, his 3rd class in 1886 and his 2nd class in 1887.

Alfred was appointed Lance Sergeant in May 1889, and then promoted to Sergeant a year later.

On 8th February 1890, Alfred married Mary Ann Piggott (nee Stoker) at the Holy Trinity Church in Tynemouth. Their first child Louisa Jane was born on 9th May 1891 in Bow, London. A second daughter, Margret Ann was born on 20th October 1894 and a third daughter, Gertrude Elizabeth on 7th January 1898, both being born in Walthamstow. A son, Alfred Robert came next on 30th September 1900 in Woking and finally a forth daughter Daisy Winnifred on 21st September 1904 in Bedhampton.

In September 1895, Alfred had completed his first term of service with the Colours and was transferred to the Army Reserve. He had at this point spent 12 years in the Military but had not served in any Campaign.

Between 19th March 1900 and 10th March 1901, he spent a year in the Royal Reserve. Alfred retained his previous rank of Sergeant, his new number being 987. He was 33 years old and was living at 57 Parfitt Road, South Bermondsey. Upon joining them, Alfred had listed his occupation as being a carman.

The day after being discharged from the Royal Reserve, on 11th March 1901 Alfred now enlisted in the Royal Garrison Regiment at Woking. He was immediately re-instated as Sergeant and given two good conduct badges. His service number now 768. In May 1904 Alfred extended his service for a further two years, picking up his third good conduct badge the following year.

A medical note dated April 1905 states that he was supplied with a set of artificial teeth, at public expense.

In June 1905 Alfred was posted to South Africa, his wife and children accompanying him overseas.

In September 1905 he extended his term of service again for another two years. Alfred returned to the UK in March 1907 and was discharged to pension due to a reduction in the establishment.

Alfred was by now 42 years old and had served a total of 19 years.

On 10th April 1915, Alfred, now 49 years and 5 months old enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. A short service engagement for the duration of the War, in the capacity of serving in the UK Depot at Fulwood Barracks in Preston. He was given the service number 20580.

He was living at 122 De Lacy Street and gave his occupation as clerk. Alfred listed his wife, Mary Ann as his legal next of kin.

His substantive rank was Private, but on the day he re-enlisted he was appointed Acting Colour Sergeant.

On 9th December 1916 he was appointed Staff Quarter Master Sergeant.

In April 1917 he complained of eye strain due to long hours working in artificial light, he was thus supplied with spectacles.

On 24th June 1918, Alfred was appointed Acting Warrant Officer Class II, Staff Quarter Master Sergeant.

On 24th April 1919, Alfred volunteered and was accepted for a further one years service with the Army of Occupation. This would take him past his 55th birthday.

Alfred finally left the Army on 1st April 1920 and was awarded a daily rate of pension of 34d. His Chelsea number 71527-C.

At the time of his discharge he was complaining of bronchitis and rheumatism. The medical officer noted that Alfred suffered from coughing, especially in the morning, and pain in his shoulders and knees. This was attributed to his work in the huts at Fulwood Barracks.

On 17th May 1948, former Army Records Clerk, Alfred Walter Piggot (aged 82) of 50 De Lacy Street Preston died of Syncope-Myocarditis, Nephritis-Ascites and Arterial Sclerosis. Those present at time of his death, his youngest daughter D. W Hall (Daisy Winnifred) of 23 Bridge Road Preston.

During the 24 years he spent in the Army, his sole medal entitlement was a Long Service Good Conduct Medal (LSGC).

Paul McCormick
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