by ehistoryadmin on September 8, 2017

Best Love to All

The WWI diaries of Eric-Rigby Jones, founder of the Irish Ropes company, have been recently published by his grandson, John Rigby-Jones. Best Love to All is an account of the experiences of Eric Rigby-Jones as a young officer on the Western Front with the Liverpool Pals. Based on his unpublished letters and diaries, it covers his participation in the battles of Arras and Ypres in 1917, the German Spring Offensive in 1918 and in Brussels after the Armistice. Eric was awarded the Military Cross and Bar for his actions during the Spring Offensive. The book is well-researched and is illustrated with numerous photographs and documents from the Rigby-Jones family albums. Eric Rigby-Jones would go on to become a leading industrialist in Ireland after the war, founding his company Irish Ropes, in the disused British cavalry barracks in Newbridge, Co. Kildare in 1933.

Eric Rigby Jones was born in Liverpool into a family that was involved in the cordage trade for over 200 years. In the 1920s and 30s tariffs had killed the trade with Ireland and Eric seeing no future for himself and his wife and three young children in Liverpool decided to move to Ireland and set up a business. After travelling around Ireland in the summer of 1933 he chose Newbridge, which was on the main railway line to Dublin, had no shortage of labour and in its abandoned military barracks there were buildings that could be renovated. Here he set up his rope-making factory with six men which would help revitalise the town of Newbridge.

But that is another story and John Rigby-Jones intends to publish a second volume which aims to tell the tale of Irish Ropes from the perspective of his grandfather and his family.

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