Arthur RIGBY
Rank: Private
Number: MS/1377
Unit: S Siege Park Army Service Corps (attached XIII Corps)
Date of Death: 16 October 1918
Age: 28
Cemetery: St Pol British Cemetery, St Pol-sur-Ternose, Pas de Calais, France

Arthur was a single man who had lived all his life in the Stockport area until he enlisted into the army in 1914.

Born about 1890, he was living at 24 Miller Street, Reddish at the time of the 1901 Census. The head of the household listed on the Census was his mother, Elizabeth Rigby. There is no mention of his father, Joseph, but he seems to have only been temporarily absent. Also living there, were his sisters, Ada, 15 and Ethel, 13 (both velvet cutters) and their 73 year old grandmother, Mary Miller.

War was declared on 4 August 1914 and Arthur enlisted within days By the following month he was in France, on active service with the Army Service Corps. This is an unusually short space of time, but the prefix of his army service number "MS" (meaning Mechanical Specials) almost certainly indicates he had some particular skill desperately needed by the army in those early weeks. Very possibly, he was experienced in driving heavy motorised vehicles. For his early service, he would be awarded the 1914 Star (commonly known as the Mons Star) and would have been one of the British Army's "Old Contemptibles".

His unit designation, on the database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website is as above, although there would also be an ASC Company number, but this is not known. Siege Parks were the ammunition dumps for the heavy artillery and Arthur was, no doubt, involved in driving the shells to the artillery positions.

Arthur died of pneumonia. The cemetery where he is buried was used by No. 12 Stationery Hospital which was located on the town's race course. It's likely that Arthur had fallen victim to the influenza epidemic which claimed millions of lives, worldwide, in 1918.

In 1918, a short obituary appeared in the local newspaper which noted that his father, Joseph, was then at the Crown Inn, Heaton Moor (presumably as the publican). He later lived at 98 Heaton Moor Road.

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