John Riggs, Our Oldest Chorister has Died Aged 101

Today the funeral takes place of John Riggs who has died aged 101.

John was a chorister at St Paul's from 1928 to 1935 and at the time of his death was our oldest chorister.

After leaving St Paul's Cathedral Choir School, he joined his cousin, William Burgess at Magdalen College School, Oxford, where he excelled in sport, particularly sprinting and rowing.

When  WW2 broke out John joined the Artists’ Rifles, before joining up full-time serving in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the Greek Islands. John was at the siege of Tobruk. He ended the war in the Far East serving with the Chindits in Burma. After the war John qualified in accountancy and soon returned to the Far East where he had a successful career, married and had 3 children, and lived in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

On retirement John returned to work at St. Paul's Cathedral and for many years was a member of St Paul's Special Service Choir. Latterly, John was regularly to be seen in the Cathedral as a Wandsman for special services and continued to attend the annual performance of Handel's Messiah every year in early December. He was also Vice-President of the Burma Star Association and worked extensively for the Royal British Legion.

Our thoughts are with his children Barbara, Rosemary and David (a Chorister at St Paul's from 1975 to 1979) and their families.


Photo supplied by Paul Ward, a chorister from 1927 to 1933, courtesy of The Associated Board.

John Riggs is seated in the front row of cross-legged probationers.