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Corey MM and 3 Bars

Mr Corey was the only soldier in the British Commonwealth to be awarded the Military Medal four times. 

2143 Corporal Ernest Albert Corey of Cooma, NSW, enlisted on 13 January 1916 into the 55th Battalion.

Steel helmet decorated by 2143 Corporal Ernest Albert Corey. Corey was born in Numeralla, NSW, in 1891. He enlisted in 1916 as part of the 'Men from Snowy River' recruitment march in the southern highlands of NSW, served throughout the war as a stretcher bearer with 55 Battalion, and remains the only man in the British Empire to be awarded the Military Medal with three Bars. 
  • The first award of the MM was made for the fighting around Bullecourt in May 1917, where Corey worked assisting the wounded, in full view of the enemy, for 17 hours. 
  • In September of the same year, he received the first Bar to the award for his bravery at Polygon Wood. 
  • The second Bar came a year later, in the attack on Peronne by 5 Australian Division, and 
  • before the end of September 1918, a third Bar, for the attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt, was also earned. In this last operation, Corey was severely wounded, and was repatriated to Australia in 1919. 

Between the wars he held a variety of jobs, and served with 13 Garrison Battalion during the Second World War. Ernie Corey died in 1972.


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces