Biography

Birth date: 07 August 1899
Birth place: Australia: Western Australia, Perth
Final rank: Colonel
Service number: 2681 - First World War, 1914-1918
WX1576 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit: 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 26 August 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

029852

PERTH, AUSTRALIA. 1943-03-24. MARCH OF THE RECENTLY RETURNED 9TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION THROUGH THE CITY. PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS THE SALUTING BASE. LEFT TO RIGHT:- LIEUTENANT-GENERAL H. GORDON BENNETT, CB, CMG, DSO, VD, GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING 3RD AUSTRALIAN CORPS; LIEUTENANT COLONEL W.J. WAIN, DSO,...

029852

066637

WONGABEL AREA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. 1944-05-24. OFFICERS OF THE 1ST BEACH LANDING GROUP HEADQUARTERS ENGAGED IN A CONFERENCE. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- NX3101 CAPTAIN J.E. GANNON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER GENERAL (1); VX2569 CAPTAIN L.J. KENNEDY, STAFF CAPTAIN (2); WX1576 COLONEL W.J....

066637

066638

WONGABEL AREA, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. 1944-05-25. OFFICERS OF THE 1ST BEACH LANDING GROUP HEADQUARTERS ENGAGED IN A CONFERENCE. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- NX3101 CAPTAIN J.E. GANNON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT QUARTERMASTER GENERAL (1); VX2569 CAPTAIN L.J. KENNEDY, STAFF CAPTAIN (3); WX1576 COLONEL W.J....

066638

Timeline

Date of birth 1899-08-07
WW1 Service 1 1915-06-14 - 1916-02-24 Private 7th battalion
Date of embarkation 1915-08-26
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
Date commissioned 1926-02-03
Interwar Service 1 1926-02-03 lieutenant 14th battalion
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 8 1940-01-14 11 battalion
Interwar Service 9 1940-01-14 13 Brigademachine gun offr (seconded)
Career summary 1 1940-05-01 Seconded from 13 Brigade to 2/16th battalion
Career summary 2 1940-05-01 major 2/16th battalion
Career summary 4 1941-11-06 lieutenant colonel 29 Dec 1941 (bd 1
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 3 1941-11-16 - 1943-07-22 temporary lieutenant colonel, commanding officer 2/43rd battalion
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
Career summary 6 [evac from El Al with anxiety neurosis]
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 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.
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 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.
Interwar Service 7 7 Hvy Brigade RAA
Served 1914-1918 Command: ; Service: Western Front
WW2 Service 1 El Alamein
WW2 Service 2 New Guinea