Joseph Henry Piggott was born in Normanton, Derbyshire around 1890. His father William worked as a plumber and glazier and Joseph was the eldest of seven siblings. During Joseph’s childhood the family relocated to 168 New Victoria Street, Mansfield. Both Joseph and his father William were working as coal miners while Joseph’s sister Mary was working in moulding in a boot factory. Joseph married Harriett Jane Piper in October 1911. The couple had two daughters, Ethel Ivy and Edna May in the next two years. Around 1912, the family relocated to Harrow Street, Moorthorpe, South Elmsall. Given Joseph’s work as a coal miner, it’s likely he moved to work at one of the many collieries in this area.
A month after the outbreak of war in August 1914, 25 year old Joseph signed up at Doncaster to fight with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. After being transferred he ended up in the Army Cyclist Corps, serving as a private with the service number 1962. Following service at home between September 1914 and October 1915, Joseph was sent out to France to serve with the British Expeditionary Force.
Joseph was shot in the head and arm and died of his wounds on the 14 March 1917. His wife was in receipt of an army pension to support herself and their two children. When Harriett received Joseph’s medals in 1921, she signed for them as ‘Mrs McCroakam’, having remarried in 1919.
Joseph is buried in the Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France.