Military Medal and Bar : Sergeant W Faint, 10 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM17287.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1918-1920
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Military Medal and Bar (Geo V). Medal impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

William Faint, born at Hindmarsh, South Australia, in 1895, was employed as an engine cleaner, and served in a local Militia unit, before enlisting in 10 Battalion, AIF, as a 19 year old in August 1914. With the regimental number 355, he embarked on the transport A11 'Ascanius' later in the same year. Faint served throughout the Gallipoli campaign, during which he was twice wounded, and travelled with his unit to the Western Front in 1916. In March of that year, he was promoted to corporal, and in October to sergeant. He was awarded both the Military Medal, and a Bar to the same award, for gallantry at Merris, France, in July 1918. The recommendation for the MM reads as follows: 'On the morning of 23rd. July, 1918, near MERRIS Sgt. Faint located an enemy post while in charge of a small patrol. Carefully working his way to the rear of the post, Sgt. Faint rushed the post and captured 8 unwounded prisoners and 1 machine gun. This N.C.O. has always set a splendid example in active operations by his bravery and determination.' The recommendation for the Bar to the MM reads as follows: 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on night 29/30th. July at MERRIS. He took out a patrol of 5 men in front of our newly established position and captured 17 prisoners and a machine gun, besides killing about 20 of the enemy with bombs. Later during the same day he was on patrol with 2 men and captured another enemy post, getting 5 prisoners and a machine gun. He showed great gallantry throughout the whole operation and set a fine example to the remainder of the platoon.' These actions took place during the period of 'peaceful penetration', when the AIF was isolating and capturing enemy positions without major attacks, through patrol or company sized operations, a role in which Faint excelled. He was killed in action on 11 August, 1918. His body was never recovered, and his name is recorded amongst the missing on the Australian Memorial at Villers Bretonneux, France.