LETTER: Family business

Old photo West Street Horsham now Bonmarche
Old photo West Street Horsham now Bonmarche

You ask if names can be put to any of the figures in the picture of HJ Piggott’s (County Times October 24). The figure standing in the doorway is my father, Ebenezer Piggott, always known as Eb, who at that time was just 14.

I think that the figure to his immediate left could be his brother Joe, who died in WWI on 11 April 1917 at Flanders and is buried in Maropc British Cemetery, Grenay.

Unfortunately I have no early pictures of my father’s family.

Their elder brother John, known as Jack, was not in the business, being a grocer’s assistant, so I can only assume the other two figures were employees.

The other two brothers Ben and Sam were still at school. There were also four sisters, two, Ruth and Mercy older than my father, and Grace and Esther, the youngest of the family.

Mercy married Gilbert Havenden, who had a similar business in Queen Street, near the Queen’s Head.

Jack, Joe and Eb were the only three to serve in the war, my father falsifying his age to join up and subsequently being shot in the leg at Gallipoli and thereafter walked with a limp, but still served for a while in WWII before being invalided out.

The business moved near to the west end of West Street and eventually to the corner of the Bishopric and Springfield Road, where in those days the only set of traffic lights in Horsham existed, and was run by Eb, Ben and Sam, John having emigrated to Australia.

My brother John (deceased) and Ben’s son David both joined the business. My sister, Mary, still lives in the family home in Hillside.