Cpl Will Rigby goes back to Iraq


A soldier who rushed to be with his dying twin brother after a roadside bomb attack in Basra says he is willing to return to fight in Iraq.

Cpl Will Rigby was at his twin brother John's bedside for 10 hours in an Army hospital, after he was fatally injured while on patrol.

John, a corporal in the same battalion, died on June 22, his 24th birthday, while serving in 4th Battalion The Rifles.

He was wounded while manning the turret of an armoured Bulldog troop carrier. Will told how he was woken at 7am by his platoon commander, who had been out on the same operation.

"As soon as I heard his voice I knew something wasn't right," he told The Sun. "All he said was there had been an incident and that John had been involved in a roadside bomb and he had sustained a head injury."

Will was driven to Battalion HQ then transferred by helicopter to the hospital at Basra airport to see his brother.

"He'd just had a single shrapnel piece go through the top of his head," he said. "He was lying on his back and looked fine. I went to his bedside and held his hand - and I didn't stop holding it for 10 hours."

Will, from Rye, East Sussex, said he was prepared to rejoin his regiment in Iraq.

"If I go back to Iraq I want to make sure I am 100 per cent fit both mentally and physically because I don't want to let my boys down. John wouldn't have wanted me to quit because of him."

Cpl Rigby was the 153rd British serviceman to die in Iraq since the US-led invasion began four years ago.

My heart goes out to the guy & I hope his stays safe.
Swift and Bold in all its tradition.
DozyBint said:
Yet another example of real courage...

May the gods be with you Cpl Rigby.
Fully agree!
Will, like your brother, you are a shining light to all Riflemen - a role model for all soldiers no matter which Arm, Service or Regiment. We wish you well and a safe and speedy return.

Swift and Bold
My condolences on your sad loss. You are a credit to the spirit of the regiment and the forces. Stay safe out there.

DozyBint said:
Yet another example of real courage...

May the gods be with you Cpl Rigby.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

My Condolences Cpl Rigby.


A British soldier who watched his identical twin brother die in Iraq has returned to his regiment in Basra.

Corporal Will Rigby has rejoined his colleagues in the 4th Battalion the Rifles just three months after his brother John was killed.

Will, from Rye in East Sussex, saw his brother die on their 24th birthday after being injured by a roadside bomb.

John, who held the same rank as his brother in the same battalion, suffered serious head injuries on 22 June.

He had been providing "top cover" from the hatch of his armoured vehicle near Basra Palace when the device exploded.

Held his hand

He was flown to the field hospital at Basra airport by helicopter but the prognosis was bleak.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said he could not comment on the deployment of personnel, but sources confirmed that Will had decided to return to Iraq.

He will serve in Basra until November when the battalion is due to complete its tour of duty, The Sun newspaper reported.

Will held his brother's hand for 10 hours in the field hospital as his life ebbed away on the day they should have been celebrating their birthday.

He said: "It's a great comfort to me to have been by John's bedside when he passed away.

"I came into this world with John and, 24 years to the day, he left us."

'Brave decision'

Will said in July he would return to Iraq.

"It became very apparent to me and John when we arrived the good that the British soldiers are doing in Iraq.

"I have a job to do and I am a serving soldier. Where they say, I go. When I feel ready, I shall go back."

John learned two weeks before his death that he was due to be promoted to sergeant. The twins joined the Army when they were 16 after setting their sights on military careers from the age of four.

Will's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Sanders, told The Sun: "Corporal Will Rigby is now with his regimental family in Basra. It is fantastic to see him back. All of us in 4 Rifle s have been very humbled by his brave decision to return."
Exceptionally moving and exceptionally brave. Come home safe Cpl Rigby.

My prayers are with you and your family in your absence.

Keep safe.

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