WX1576 William John 'Hells Bells' Wain, DSO

Date of birth1899-08-07 Perth, WA 
WW1 Service 1  1915-06-14 - 1916-02-24  Private 7th battalion  
WW1 Service 2  1916-03-06  59th battalion 24th Feb-1 
WW1 Service 3  1919-07-15  15thmachine gun Company (later 5thmachine gun battalion ) 16 Mar 1916-to discharge  
Interwar Service 1  1926-02-03  lieutenant 14th battalion 
Date commissioned  1926-02-03   
Interwar Service 2  1930-05-05  captain 
Interwar Service 3  1933-02-23  Reserve of Officers  
Interwar Service 4  1934-02-23  14th battalion  
Interwar Service 5  1938-01-25  6 Infantry Brigademachine gun officers  
Interwar Service 6  1938-08-01  RAA (M) Hvy Bty 
Interwar Service 9  1940-01-14  13 Brigademachine gun offr (seconded)  
Interwar Service 8  1940-01-14  11 battalion  
Career summary 2  1940-05-01  major 2/16th battalion 
Career summary 1  1940-05-01  Seconded from 13 Brigade to 2/16th battalion 
Career summary 4  1941-11-06  lieutenant colonel 29 Dec 1941 (bd 1 
Career summary 3  1941-11-16 - 1943-07-22  temporary lieutenant colonel, commanding officer 2/43rd battalion  
Appointment  1941-11-16 - 1943-07-22  Battalion: 2/43rd; Rank on appointment: major, temporary lieutenant colonel ; Appointed from: 2/16th battalion ; Reason for end of appointment: age ?? 
Career summary 5  1942-11-04  wounded in action 
Career summary 7  1943-02-27  Returned to Australia  
Career summary 9  1943-08-06  command 5 Garrison Brigade 
Career summary 8  1943-08-26  Mention in Despatches (for 1 May-22 Oct 1943)  
Career summary 10  1943-11-03  Companion of the Distinguished Service Order 
Career summary 11  1944-01-30 - 1944-03-30  commanding officer Tasmania Lines of Communication Area  
Career summary 12  1944-03-30 - 1944-08-01  commanding officer 1 Aust Beach group  
Career summary 13  1944-11-07  Reserve of Officers 
Interwar Service 7    7 Hvy Brigade RAA 
WW2 Service 1    El Alamein 
Career summary 6    [evac from El Al with anxiety neurosis] 
Served    1914-1918 Command: ; Service: Western Front 
Citations 2    For most distinguished service and devotion to duty during the period 23 Oct to 23 Jan 43. Lt.-Col. W.J. WAIN commanded 2/43 Aust. Inf. Bn. throughout the battles at El ALAMEIN with outstanding ability and continuous gallantry. In 24 Aust. Inf. Bde's operations of July/November, in which the Bn. took a major and continuous part, Lt-Col. WAIN inspired his men by his unshakeable determination to close with the enemy and give no ground. 
Citations 4    It had not been possible to reinforce the Bn. in daylight, but despite casualties in arms and personnel, the Bn. clung to its position, counter-attacking for lost ground, until the enemy withdrew. On 1 Nov. Lt-Col. Wain was blown out of his OP by a shell, but despite the shock and the effects of the blast, he continued to direct operations and refused evacuation until 3 November, when the situation was stabilised. 
Citations 3    Near SIDI ABD EL RAHMAN between 31 October - 1 November, 2/43 Bn. was holding the extremity of a salient on ground vital to both ourselves and the enemy. This position was held, although it was overlooked by enemy positions on two sides and subjected to some six attacks in fourteen hours by enemy tanks and infantry with heavy fire support. Lt-Co; WAIN moved about to direct operations, heedless of severe fire, encouraging his subordinates by personal contact, and skilfully bringing fire to bear as a result of his personal observations. 
WW2 Service 2    New Guinea 
Citations 5    Throughout the period under review Lt-Col. Wain has inspired his unit by these and similar acts of gallantry, by his meticulous attention to detail in planning and by his drive in training and leadership.