Friday, 28 August 2015

Another tragedy for Colaton Raleigh: Private Harold Hugh Riggs, 28 August 1915

The Devonshire Regimental cap badge 

Harold Riggs was the fourth man from Colaton Raleigh to die in the Great War. All four were members of the Devonshire Regiment.

His brother, Herbert George Riggs, had died of his wounds in November 1914. He is buried at Aubers Ridge British Cemetery, near Bethune in Northern France, and is remembered on this blog at 

Pont du Hem Military Cemetery 
Image credit: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initial research, including that of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, had given no indication that the pair were brothers. However medals for both Herbert and Harold have come to light, being featured on the Medals of England website. Click here to read more. 

Harold, from the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment  was killed in action on 28 August 1915 and is buried a short distance away in the Pont du Hem Military Cemetery at La Gorgue in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. 

A Devonshire Regiment list for the 1914-18 war gives his birthplace as Ottery St Mary. Both Herbert George and Harold Hugh are remembered on the brass memorial in the village church of St John the Baptist.

The 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, formed at Exeter on 15 September 1914, had landed in France at Le Havre on 28 July, a month earlier. Its greatest trial would come in September 1915 with the Battle of Loos, when it lost 476 men. 

‘The Great War at Fairlynch’ 2015 exhibition at Budleigh Salterton’s very special museum! Reviews included: “Wonderful display on WW1, informative, bright and relevant. Well done!!




  1. you have made a mistake, the riggs pair are brothers, I have there medals and death plaques, military and census records, so could you please refresh your information, as you are doing them no service, I have proof if needed and as I live in Honiton, I shall take the medals and paperwork in, to resolve this, many thanks Thomas

  2. feel free to contact me as I can update you with the relevant info 01404 548388