|Home > Rigg > Alexander William Rigg (1885-1975)|
Alexander William Rigg (junior) was born in 1885 and died in 1975 in the West country,
UK. He had a most interesting life, travelling widely, serving in and surviving WW1,
and becoming a well respected and talented Ecclesiatical Draughtsman.
Alexander William (senior) and family left for Canada to find work when the late 19th century recession struck UK, but the situation there was just as bad, and someone in the family (probably the maiden aunts) sent the fare so they could all come back. On his return Alexander William (senior) became a lithographer. Father and son (Alexander William) when older used to go to concerts at the then Peoples Palace on a Sunday afternoon, both being keen on music.
When Alexander William (junior) left school there was little work and as soon as he was able he joined the Highland Light Infantry. He travelled around and spent some time in India. Interestingly he refused vaccination, being firmly against introducing germs into one's body, and this idea was confirmed when three of his fellow soldiers died, and he made a quick recovery.
He came out of the army as a reservist and joined the Fire Service (horses and ladders) and was the first fireman to demonstrate the suspended ladder - picture in the paper at the time. He served with Frank Upton who married his sister Florence Henrietta Rigg.
Alexander William married Amy Eleanor Brown (1883-1970) on 6 July 1911 and
moved to Exeter to join the Police. In 1914 he was recalled as a Reservist and
went immediately to France. He was badly injured in the head at Mons and left
with others expected to die overnight. He was the only survivor and was taken to
hospital in Southampton where a steel plate was inserted in his head (to
replace the missing skull-bone). I remember him tapping it to show us children that
he had a plate in his skull; I thought he said it was of silver, but I could be
mistaken. After the hospitalisation, he was very ill for some time and was eventually
declared unfit to rejoin the Police.
He was always good at drawing and was sent to Art School. Thereafter he was employed as an Ecclesiatical Draughtsman at J. Wippell Co. in Exeter. His work exists in various churches world-wide. The Roll of Honour for the Battle of Britain was done by him and was erected at Biggin Hill, Kent RAF Station Memorial Chapel but subsequently lost in a fire. He stayed in this employment until retiring at 70 plus.
He had a good singing voice taking the leading role in the Oratorio in the Exeter Male Voice Choir for many years. He was also a very keen player of Bowls.
They had one son Alexander Evelyn (31/10/1916-6/6/1944) who was killed in the D day landings, and three daughters:
In the 1891(March 31st)[RG12/304 Folio: 149, Page: 1] census living at 4 Silver Street, Hasslet, Mile End Old Town, Stepney were:
In the 1901 census[RG13/318 Folio: 53, Page: 30] at 10 Ben Johnson Road were:
In the 1911 census[RG14PN12672 RG78PN728 RD271 SD1 ED4 SN165] at 31 Salisbury Road Exeter, there resided:
Alexander William parents were Alexander William (senior) Rigg (1854-1925) and Henrietta Metcalfe-Rigg (1865-1947).
Alexander William Rigg was the elder brother of my grandfather.
Alexander William - Highland Light Infantry
Alexander William (junior) with his son Alexander Evelyn at Paignton Devon in 1934.
Exeter Riggs in 1953 from L to R
standing: Phyllis1913Amy, Alexander1885William, Edith1917Winifred, Norman(Len)Wright, Elsie1921Lois
Photo taken by Maurice Hendra - husband of Phyllis