WWI Profile: Lindsey Pigott 1895-1960

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Source: findagrave
Lindsey Pigott
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard

May 5, 1917 – March 6, 1919
May 11, 1918 – January 19, 1919
Severely Wounded: September 29, 1918

Lindsey Pigott was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch.

On May 5, 1917, at the age of 21, Lindsey enlisted in the NC National Guard by way of the Boys’ Brigade, as described in a previous post.

In October, the 30th Division was created from NC National Guard units. Pfc Lindsey Pigott was assigned to Company B, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. In December, he was promoted to corporal.

Previous posts detail the 119th Infantry’s operations up to the assault on the Hindenburg Line on September 29, 1918. The assault itself is also covered in posts about the 105th Engineers, also part of the 30th Division.

Very early in the morning of September 29th the 60th brigade [119th Infantry, 120th Infantry, and 115th Machine Gun Battalion], with some units of the 117th regiment, assaulted this terrible line on a front of 3,000 yards, captured the whole Hindenburg system, then advanced still further and took the tunnel system with all the German troops hidden in it and next captured the towns of Bellicourt, Nouroy, Riqueval, Carriere, Etricourt, the Guillaine Ferme (farm) and Ferme de Riqueval; in this part of the assault advancing 4,200 yards and defeating two German divisions of average quality and taking from these (the 75th and 185th) 47 officers and 1,434 men. – Source

Corporal James E. Gregory, Company M, 119th Infantry, shared these memories of being “sent to the Somme front in France to help the Australians break the famous Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt.”

Here we learned we were used as storm troops for the English 4th Army.”

Source: NC digital Archives 2

“At 5:50 a.m., September 29th, our Division attacked the Hindenburg Line on a front of three thousand yards. For four long hours the barrage continued without one minute of let up from both sides. It looked to me as if the destruction of the world had begun.

I couldn’t hear myself think, shells were falling everywhere, and shrapnels filling the air with their horrible whistles, and men were moaning and groaning at every side, pleading for someone to help them.

German prisoners were coming over with hands up yelling ‘Kamerad,’ enemy aeroplanes whizzing low to the earth and sending showers of bullets down on us, friends everywhere falling dead and wounded.

I was in a continuous struggle for life and almost unconscious of what was really happening, when the hardest of the battle was over and we had reached our objective, the tunnel of St. Quentin and the entire Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt. We spent the night in a German dugout seventy feet under ground, where the night before Hindenburg’s men never dreamed of having to give up.

On the morning of the 30th we began to gather up the remainder of the dead and wounded. Horrible sights
were to be seen. I saw men piled beside the shell-torn road in piles of from two to a dozen, and Australians hauling men to bury in wagons like we haul wood-a dozen or fifteen to a load. At the burying ground some of the men could not be identified for only half a man could be found, sometimes his body being blown to pieces and the identification tag lost.

Cpl Lindsey Piggot was among the severely wounded. He would not return to fight again.

On January 10, 1919, Cpl Lindsey Pigott was transported from Camp Hospital 40, Liverpool, England, to Lapland for home [Source: ancestry.com]. On March 6, 1919, he was discharged from the US Army with a 50% disability.

Lindsey lost his left hand and wrist in the battle and sustained serious injuries to his left side. More tragedy awaited after returning to the United States. A shotgun fell from a counter and discharged, resulting in the loss of both legs. But Lindsey didn’t lose his fighting spirit.

An article on the front page of the State Port Pilot [1946, Dec 25] announced Lindsey Pigott as the new manager of the Gulf Station and lunch room at the corner of Routes 74 and 17 near the Brunswick River bridge.

Folks who know Mr. Piggott regard him as a very striking illustration of independence despite adversity. …[Un]daunted by the loss of both legs and a hand and wrist, Mr. Pigott, who is married and has two young children, has worked for several years operating concessions with the R & S Amusement company. Tired of having to be constantly on the road, he decided to engage in a business of his own.

On February 22, 1960, Lindsey Pigott was laid to rest in Wilmington National Cemetery. His headstone with military honors is shown above. The notation “PH” indicates a purple heart was awarded.

If you would like to help us honor Lindsey Pigott or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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