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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

RGA Italy - My Grandfather


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I have recenrly found a photograph of my Grandfather Sidney Rigg, who served in the RGA including some time in Italy, however, I do not though have his service number or unit. I do know that he was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the RGA special Reseve of officers on 21 January 1918. Info on his MIC is also quite sparce. Can anybody please help me by telling me how I could find his unit whilst he was in Italy and where he may have served before that? My GF the sergeant standing second from the right on the attached photograph. Thanks


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I'm not sure if this is the same dog or if some of these chaps look familiar?

this was originally labelled as 293 siege battery but I think Paul identified it as another. 293 were of course in Italy


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Only because I know the photo is that of a section of 197 SB 100%. This Bty served in Italy from Dec17 for the duration having transferred from the Western Front. Several other cards of exactly the same 6in How (26 cwt) in the same position exist but with different personnel shown. What concerns me is that I thought they are dated after Jan18 so does not tally with your man as a Serjeant? While Officer records for a Sydney RIGG 2Lt SR are listed in the NA old numbering files, I cannot find them in the catalogue suggesting they are either misnamed, have not survived, or he served on. I do not have him in my database either, but other forum members concentrate on Officers specifically so you may still be in luck.That and his MIC spell his forename as Sydney though.



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Thanks Paul and also Sean for the other photo - it may well be the same dog but no other familiar faces. A quick search on eBay turned up a very similar group photo taken with the same gunat the same location (and sold for over £22 !) so as you say numerous versions do exist. Regarding the dates here, my Grandfather - his name is spelt Sydney - was commissioned on 21/1/18 and was married in Lancashire on 5/2/1918. If this battery went to Italy in Dec 1917, Sydney may have gone as an officer? - my identifying him as second from the right on the photo is my best guess as the resemblance with other photos of him from the period seems to be there but I may be wrong. As this photo was in amongst the family photos which have just turned up, there must be a link...The only other fact to hand is that he attended the 34th Seige Course No.2 at Maresfield Park, Tonbridge Wells, the surviving course photo being dated 20/12/17. He survived the war and returned to work on the Furness Railway in Cumbria, the FR Great War Roll of Honour however records him as a bombadier.

I have found a digitised version of 'With Britsh Guns in Italy' by Hugh Dalton (at http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Farchive.org%2Fdetails%2Fwithbritishgunsi00dalt&ei=F9VsUueuOZCT0AW5qoHgCQ&usg=AFQjCNGQeeHAXy_u5CY-TB2LGpokdm5m9g&sig2=KljQrbkMz4Ca8ZZcy_0H5Q&bvm=bv.55123115,d.d2k ) are there other written resources I should also check out?



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The photos were taken sometime after Jan. 1918. Maresfield Park was No.2 Officer Cadet School.

If you ever get to the IWM then you could have a look at http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1030007519 and http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1030008298, although the later relates up to Nov. 1917 when this man was wounded. Paul probably has some other likely reading material to suggest.

Its war diary can be seen at the Nat. Archives. Nov 1916 to Nov 1917 under WO 95/305, and from Dec 1917 to Feb 1918 under WO 95/4205. You would have to view the higher formation it was attached to after this date which I believe was 15 Brigade which is in the same file as the later diary, 4205.


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