Milton K. Rigby
Submitted by: Thomas Morgan
In the Summer of 1917, Canadian Lieutenant Colonel P. A. Guthrie, a commander in the famed Black Watch Regiment, was evacuated from the front line of combat in Germany after sustaining injuries from nearly being hit by an artillery shell. While recovering, he traveled to New England to recruit Americans to fill the places of his men lost in combat.
Milton K. Rigby of Rhode Island, and 1000 other New Englanders answered Guthrie’s call to service and on July 17th 1917 swore an oath to the king to defend the British Commonwealth and her allies. He was assigned to the 236th MacLean Kilties but was transferred to the 42nd Battalion, 3rd C.E.F. Division, along with other American Kilties, to form a joint Canadian, British and American unit under the command of the Black Watch.
Dates Served: July 17th 1917 – March 11th 1919
Branch of Service: Canadian Expeditionary Force, 3rd Division
Unit: 236th Battalion (MacLean Kilties), was deployed with the 42nd Infantry Battalion (Black Watch)
Once deployed to the front, Rigby saw direct combat at the battles of Amiens, Parvillers, Arras, Monche, Jig-Saw Woods, Cambrai, Conde, Valenciennes, The Marne and Mons. At the battle of Cambrai, Rigby’s unit of 740 Black Watch soldiers fought through sniper, machine gun and gas attacks. After 8 days of intense battle, much of which was hand-to-hand, Rigby’s unit of 740 had sustained 670 casualties. He would continue fighting up until the last battle of the war, the liberation of Mons. King Albert of Belgium personally awarded his Division “The Mons Medal” as thanks for freeing the Belgians.
“Rigby said he would willingly go through it all again if necessary”-New England 1919