William Richard HAIGH MC

HAIGH, William Richard

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 11 December 1915, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 17th Infantry Battalion
Born: Matata, New Zealand, 1889
Home Town: Homebush, Strathfield, New South Wales
Schooling: Granville Superior public School, and Sydney High School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Town clerk
Died: Died of wounds, Wandsworth, England, 26 November 1918
Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Pirbright, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Plot IV, Row G, Grave No. 6
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Baulkham Hills William Thompson Masonic School War Memorial, Grafton Prince Leopold No 87 Lodge Honor Roll, Granville War Memorial, Sydney United Grand Lodge Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

11 Dec 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Sydney, New South Wales
8 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 17th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '12' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Star of England embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note: ''
8 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Sydney
14 Oct 1917: Honoured Military Cross, MC awarded "For conspicuous gallantry & devotion to duty. He led his men with great skill and had to consolidate his objective under the heaviest shell fire. Though suffering severe casualties, both in officers & men, he continued to move amongst them, encouraging them in their work until he was wounded and forced to go to the rear."
28 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 17th Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal
4 Oct 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 17th Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal, Gas
26 Nov 1918: Involvement Lieutenant, 17th Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: awm_unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Lieutenant awm_died_date: 1918-11-26

South Grafton Municipal Council Tribute

The Mayor (Ald. Page) presented the following minute at the meeting of the South Grafton Council held on Wednesday December 4, 1918: -
“I regret to report the fact that our late town clerk, Lieut. W. R. Haigh, M.C., has died in England following the results of gas poisoning received in action. He was eleven months associated with this council and proved himself an indefatigable officer. I beg to move that this council place on record its admiration for the many high qualities and gallant courage of its late town clerk, and expresses its sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, and its pride in being associated with one who has so gloriously given his life for his King and country, and that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to his parents.”
In moving the adoption of the minute, the Mayor (Ald. Page) expressed his sorrow at the demise of their late clerk, and said he was sure that each alderman and everybody in South Grafton felt the same way about it. He had hoped that with the termination of the war they would see Lieut. Haigh back in South Grafton with his honor and glory which was won on the other side. Not that they had not had an efficient officer in the acting town clerk, Miss Stick, for she had performed yeoman work, but Mr. Haigh had shown such great promise while in South Grafton and the experience he had gained on the other side would have been of inestimable value, not only to the town, but to the district. He was indeed sorry to learn of his death, but there was consolation in that it was a death he would have chosen – fighting for his King and country.
Ald. Reid said it was with feelings of sorrow and regret that he received the news on Saturday night of the death of their esteemed town clerk. The speaker was Mayor of South Grafton when he took up duties as clerk, about four years ago, and he could assure them all that the position of Mayor was quite a pleasure since everything was on a different footing prior to that. The friendship that sprang up between them then was one that would ever live in the speaker’s memory. He remembered distinctly Lieut. Haigh’s words, “I think it is my duty to go.” The deceased was turned down on two occasions then, but was not satisfied and presented himself in Sydney and was finally passed. “When the news came to me on Saturday night,” concluded Ald. Reid, “it was a great shock, as I was looking forward to seeing him again as if he was one of my own, and I can’t say any more than that.”
Other speakers in support were Ald. Ainsworth, Roberts, Durrington, McKittrick, Quinn and Munns.
The motion was carried, the aldermen standing in silence.

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