John Samuel Thompson Rigby

Informations sur naissance

Année de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Coleraine, Victoria, Australia

Informations générales

Ouvrier Scierie

Informations service militaire

Force armée:
Australian Imperial Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Balmoral, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 21st Bn. (Victoria)  (Dernière unité connue)
 —  Australian Infantry, 23rd Bn. (Victoria)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Romulus Wood, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panneau: Bay 23 stone O

Distinctions et médailles 4

1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Military Medal
Médaille — 21/09/1916
Victory Medal

Points d'intérêt 2

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement

Mon histoire

Lieutenant Rigby John Samuel Thompson was the oldest son of Thomas and Martha Rigby and worked as sawmiller when he enlisted on the 5th March 1915 in the 23st Battalion AIF, part of the 6th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division. Later he was appointed to the 6th Australian Light MortarBattery of the 21st Battalion.

He served in Egypt, Gallipoli and France before going to the 2nd Army LTM school. John Samuel Rigby was awarded the Military Medal on 21 September 1916 and was later promoted to Lieutenant.

The recommendation for his MM states: "On 5th August at POZIERES he brought his gun into action in the captured trenches, shortly afterwards an enemy shell put the gun out of action, killing one and wounding three men of the set. He removed two of his wounded through the barrage to the Aid post and was about to return for the third when he was ordered to quit owing to the increased intensity of fire. He has been conspicuous for his cool gallantry throughout this action, as was the case on the "Southland" and at Armentieres."

On the 4th of October 1917 the 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 21st Battalion was part of the 6th Brigade, which attacked on the right of the divisional front. The 22nd Battalion would take the first objective, the red line. Once they had taken this line, the 24th would pass through the 22nd on the right and the 21st would do the same on the left. The Battalion assembled before the attack at the jumping-off positions in front of Tokio, but soon moved closer to the road leading to Tokio on account of German artillery fire on and around Albania. They made use of shell holes and old trench systems to form a line.

At 5.35 a.m. moments before the Battalion would attack, the German artillery, including minenwerfers, started shelling the jump-off line, causing heavy casualties. The Germans were about to attack themselves in the hope of recapturing Zonnebeke. The heavy shell fire was very destructive.

At 6 a.m. the British and Australian artillery opened fire on the German positions and the troops started to advance. The 22nd led off, followed by the 21st and 24th. Zonnebeke Lake was on the jumping-off line on the left. The three battalions had to storm the front over 3oo yards right of the lake. Once they had passed the lake the units on the left had to change direction to cover the ground allotted to them.

The German infantry was utterly surprised by the allied barrage. They were quickly dispersed, killed or taken prisoner by the advancing Australians. Docile Trench and De Knoet Farm fell without much opposition and the 22nd Battalion reached their objective by 6.50 a.m. On the right flank of the 24th Battalion the troops met resistance in Romulus Wood, but the Germans were eventually overpowered. At 7.30 a.m. the 21st and 24th moved up behind the protective barrage, reaching the second objective, the blue line at 8.10 a.m., where the dug in and prepared for eventual counterattacks. The 21st Battalion captured the hamlet of Broodseinde and consolidated a line on the Broodseinde Ridge.

During these events, Lieutenant Rigby John Samuel Thompson, age 29, was killed in action near Romulus Wood. In his Service Record is mentioned that although a report of burial in "Sunken Road" (D.29.a.9.3.) was given, it would appear that the ground was afterwards swept by shell fire, and in this way much difficulty has been encountered in locating the grave. On the same day his brother Frank, also lieutenant in the 21st Battalion AIF was killed in action.

Their father wrote to the army in 1919 requesting that his two sons be buried alongside each other. Despite the best efforts of the army, who had agreed in writing to his request, as soon as the remains were found, neither of the brothers bodies were located and they remain missing until this day. Both brothers are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Bay 23, stone O.

Rapports avec d'autres militaires 1

Fichiers 1

Sources 9

"Passchendaele, The Day-by-Day Account",McCarthy C., Arms&ArmourPress, London, 1995, page 98-99
Sources utilisées
AIF Project
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Service Record
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The long long trail
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War Diary
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WarDiary 6th LMB 4thOct17
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