Trooper Kenrick Riley
6th Light Horse Regiment, AIF
Service Number: 2420
Born: 2 April 1892, Mulgoa, NSW
Died: 27 March 1918, Anman, Palestine
Kenrick Cory Riley was born at the family estate, Glenmore, Mulgoa on 2 April 1892 to Alick Charles and Louisa Ann (nee Cory) Riley, and was baptised in St Thomas’s Anglican Church on 7 May 1892. Riley’s grandfather, James John Riley was elected Penrith’s first mayor in 1871 and served as a local alderman and magistrate for many years. Riley’s parents married in 1886 and soon afterwards moved to Warialda to take up a pastoral run. Their first three children were born there before they returned to Mulgoa in the early 1890s. By 1896 the family were again on a pastoral run, at Ballala, Mullengrudgery, near Nyngan. Riley attended Newington College at Stanmore before he returned to the western districts of NSW where he worked as a station hand probably on his parent’s property, Blue Nobby at Warialda and later at Bulgroo Station, Queensland. In 1913 when he made his will, he was at Yambacoona station, Brewarrina. By the end of the war, his parents had moved to Fairview Station near Yass. After the war this station was purchased for the settlement of returned soldiers.
Riley enlisted at Liverpool on 27 January 1916 and was allocated to the 16th Reinforcements, 6th Light Horse Regiment. His older brother James Cory Riley, a station overseer, also enlisted in the Light Horse a few weeks later on 8 February. Riley embarked for Egypt on 3 May aboard the troop ship Hymettus and was taken on strength at Tel El Kabir by the end of June. His brother disembarked at Suez on 23 November 1916.
After several months training, Riley was transferred to the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. This Brigade was transferred to the 6th Light Horse Regiment in October 1916. In early 1917, Riley was part of the Allied advance on Palestine and Gaza. In August 1917, he was transferred to the 1st Light Car Patrol, at Marakeb where he was involved in reconnaissance work. Riley was sick with malaria from October 1917 and missed the famous charge at Beersheba. He rejoined his regiment in early 1918 and was involved in operations around Amman (now in Jordan). On 27 March, Riley’s regiment was part of an attack on the Amman Railway Station. While advancing on foot, Riley’s troop sergeant Lionel Loveband was wounded. Riley ran to help and while bringing him back to safety he was shot and killed. Loveband later died and both were buried together the following day in a nearby wadi.
Brother James returned to Australia in 1919 and married local girl Eileen Stanton of Ormonde in 1928. Aside from Riley and his brother who served in Palestine, four other grandsons of Penrith’s first mayor served in France. Riley’s mother died in Yass in 1930 and his father in 1951 at Roseville.
- Damascus British War Cemetery
- Honor Roll, St Thomas Anglican Church, Mulgoa
- Honor Roll, Newington College, Stanmore
- National Archives of Australia: B2455, RILEY KENRICK CORY (on site as Kenneth)
- Australian War Memorial First World War Nominal Roll
- Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Penrith City Library Biography files
- TROVE (Nepean Times)