Sydney Earl RIGNEY MM

RIGNEY, Sydney Earl

Service Numbers: 209, 6128, 6128A
Enlisted: 22 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Glebe, New South Wales, Australia, 1884
Home Town: Glebe, New South Wales
Schooling: Canterbury Boys High, St Josephs, Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Memorials:
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
30 Apr 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW (chest)
25 Jul 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 209, 10th Infantry Battalion
26 Jul 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6128, Sydney, New South Wales
25 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 6128, 17th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Oct 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 6128, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Sydney
17 Feb 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, Transferred at 3 Trg Bn Dorrington for 10th Bn reinforcements
20 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 6128, 10th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road
20 Sep 1917: Honoured Military Medal, Menin Road, (Polygon Wood 19-22 September 1917) Good leadership and consistent courage and resourcefulness under fire.' Ed note - although it names Polygon Wood this was actually the final stage of Menin Road which reached the western edge of Polygon Wood. The Battle for Polygon Wood commenced 26 September
9 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 6128, 10th Infantry Battalion, Raid on Celtic Wood, 2nd occasion - Shell wound (left shoulder and right buttock)
18 Jul 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, SN 6128A, 10th Infantry Battalion, Discharged in England

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Raid on Celtic Wood - Survivor

6128A Corporal Sydney Earl Rigney MM a military clerk of Glebe, New South Wales had served 5 years in the permanent artillery before the war. He was an original member of the 10th Battalion and after landing at Gallipoli with A Company was wounded then evacuated to Australia for medical discharge.

He re-enlisted in July 1916 and after being drafted to the UK with the 17th Battalion he returned to the 10th and was in the field with C Company 10th Battalion at the time of the raid.  

Credible witness statement in W H Wilsdon’s Red Cross file. Corporal Rigney. - ‘On Oct. 9th 1917 I was out on a raiding party near Passchendaele with 2nd Lt. Wilsdon. I was with him all the time until the signal was given to withdraw, when we were practically surrounded by the enemy, and had to fight our way back. ...’ 

Corporal Rigney. -   ‘On 9.10.17 I was acting as Platoon sergeant under Lieutenant Wilsdon in a raid made on an enemy position ...’

Rigney was recorded on the 13 October Field Return as wounded on 8 October 1917.

Author’s Note: - Awarded MM -1 Anzac RO 88 31 Oct 17 for good leadership, courage and great resourcefulness under fire during the operations at Polygon Wood in September.

Sydney Rigney was discharged in July 1918, medically unfit (for the second time) and became a munitions worker in England.

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