New board recalls WW1 tragedies

Picture captions:'Board meeting: Cllr Simon King, Barry Ketteringham, Cllr Alan Melton, Cllr Peter Murphy, Steve Clark, George Hennessy and Bob Ollier
Picture captions:'Board meeting: Cllr Simon King, Barry Ketteringham, Cllr Alan Melton, Cllr Peter Murphy, Steve Clark, George Hennessy and Bob Ollier
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A new information board that has just been installed in a Wisbech park contains an intriguing reference to two brothers killed in action during the First World War.

The board has been erected in Tillery Field at the bottom of Alexandra Road to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, which took place in June last year.

By chance, its installation also coincides with this year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, which gives the mention of the two young men’s deaths an added and timely poignancy.

The board relates the history of the park from the 14th century when the area was called Le Tyllerie, meaning a ‘place where tiles are made’. In 1828 it became the New Burial Ground, an overflow graveyard for the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

The last person to be buried there was Susan Ann Piggins, who died in 1935. The fate of their two sons, Sidney and George, was recorded on her gravestone and that of her husband, who was also interred there.

Sidney Jack Piggins died in Egypt in 1918 and was buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery in Israel. His brother, George Edward Piggins, went missing in action in France in 1916 and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial there.

Funding for the new information board has come from Fenland District Council (out of council leader Alan Melton’s discretionary fund), the Friends of Wisbech Parks, the Fenland branch of the Royal Society of St George and Councillor Simon King and his wife Jeanne.

Cllr King said: “This part of Wisbech has a fascinating history which deserves to be more widely known and this information board will help with that. The story of the Piggins brothers is just one detail that obviously has particular relevance during this centenary year.”

Cllr Peter Murphy, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, added: “This is the latest in a series of improvements that we and other partners have made to the park over the past few years. It’s another thing that we believe will add to people’s enjoyment.” Other recent improvements to the park include new gates, benches and extra lighting.