Thomas Rigby Smith

Thomas Rigby Smith was born in Hatton in 1894 and baptised at Daresbury Parish Church on September 16th that year, although in the parish baptisms he is recorded as Henry Rigby Smith. He was the son of Thomas Smith (born in Kingsley) and his wife Ann (nee Wilkinson) who was born in Hatton.

The 1901 census shows him as aged 7 years, living on Hatton Common with his parents and his siblings Charles(17), Fred(12), Edith(10) and Elsie(3). Fred was in fact Henry Fyge Smith, who also served in the Great War. His father was a slater.

A decade later the family were still at Hatton Common, Charles having left home and his mother having died earlier in 1911 at the age of 40 years. Thomas was a brick setter’s apprentice and his father a self-employed slater.

Thomas served in the 6th Reserve Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, which was also known as the West Riding Regiment. He had the rank of Private and the service number 308199. His service records also show that he was at one time in the Royal Army Service Corps and the 1/4th South Lancs Regiment with the service number T/1464 and also in the Royal Army Service Corps with the service number T4/253121. He would appear to have joined up in early 1915. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He survived the war, but died on 1st March 1919 at the age of 25 years. He was buried at Hillcliffe Baptist Cemetery, at Appleton near Warrington and is recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having died as a result of fighting in the Great War. At the time of his death, his parents lived in Latchford, Warrington.