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William Alfred Riggs was born 24 March 1878 the son of William N. Riggs and Willena Arbuckle of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. William Sr. was employed by the Prince Edward Island Railway. Alfred worked for some years for Messrs George Carter, booksellers and stationers, and, in his spare time perfected himself in sign and decorative painting. He was an active member of the Methodist church and aspired to the Ministry. In 1898 he joined the Charlottetown Engineers and was one of thirty young Islanders who formed the first P.E.I. contingent to the Boer War. Private Alfred Riggs was killed at the battle of Modder River on 27 February 1900.