Percy Piggott was born in Maesycwmmer, Monmouthshire, South Wales on 1st June 1898 the second son of Alice Ann Piggott [née Evans] and Frederick Piggott, a mining contractor. He was one of four siblings within the family who were affluent enough to be able to afford two live-in domestic staff.


Nothing appears to be known about either Percy’s life or the occupation he choose to follow after completing his education at Wellington College.


Percy turned down the offer of a commission and instead joined the Motor Transport section of the Army Service Corps [date unknown] as Private 178490 Percy Piggott. Later on in the War, as Private 33922 Percy Piggott, he transferred to the 16th (Service) Battalion (3rd Birmingham), The Royal Warwickshire Regiment; being the third of the Birmingham ‘Pals’ Battalions.


At the beginning of January 1916 the Battalion was in France as part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division but they moved to Italy in November 1917 finally returning to France in April the following year. It is not known whether Percy served in the Italian campaign; his young age made it unlikely but not impossible, or joined the Regiment after its return to France in April 1918. His lack of the ‘1915 Star’ reflected his entry into a theatre of war after 31st December 1915.


By late May 1918 the Battalion was in the Steenbecque and Thiennes area of northern France and during the night of the 23rd/24th May were heavily shelled with mustard gas, causing the area to be evacuated. Once the shelling had ceased the area was re-occupied, having been treated with chloride of lime.


At some point on Tuesday 28th May 1918 Private Percy Piggott, 16th (Service) Battalion (3rd Birmingham), The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died in No.54 Casualty Clearing Station [CCS] of the effects of gas poisoning, inhaled during the attack a few days prior. He was just four days short of his 20th birthday. Percy lies buried in Aire Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais in France and is commemorated both in Bicton, Shropshire and on the Cenotaph in Castle Street Caerphilly.

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment is perpetuated today in 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.


See also the Imperial War Museum permanent digital memorial to the ‘Lives of the First World War’ for P Piggott. https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/3517788