William Percival Nairn

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William Percival Nairn
Nairn William Percival 3189.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 18 Feb 1893
Place of Birth Payneham, South Australia
Death 28 Jun 1945, aged 52
Place of Death Hollywood Repatriation Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 9 months
Description 5' 5½" (1.66m) tall ; 140 lbs
63.503 kg
; medium complexion ; brown eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Farmer
Religion Methodist
Address Cardup, Beenup, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr. William Nairn
Military Information
Reg Number 3189
Date of Enlistment 13 Nov 1916
Rank Lance Corporal WW 1, Sergeant WW 2
Unit/Formation 46th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement, A Coy transferred to 4th Machine Gun Battalion /4th Division
Date of Embarkation 29 Dec 1916 ‒ 3 Mar 1917
Ship Embarked On HMAT A34 Persic
Date of Return 21 Jun 1919 ‒ 3 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On SS Königin Luise
Fate Wounded in Action 28 Mar 1918 near Albert
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Beenup panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Byford WW2 Honour Roll
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

On entering camp William was placed in the 93rd Depot Company until 2 Dec 1916 when he was allocated to the 8th reinforcement draft for the 46th Battalion. Following barely a month's training at Blackboy Hill camp, William and his reinforcement draft were shipped to England where they entered the 12th Training Battalion at Codford on 4 Mar 1917.

A further 4 months of training passed before William proceeded overseas to France via Folkestone on 2 Jul 1917. Taken on strength by the 46th Battalion on 21 Jul 1917 in the Doulieu area, along with 6 other reinforcements for the unit. At the time the battalion was training, preparatory to rejoining the fray. William was appointed Lance Corporal on 30th October 1917.

On 28 Mar 1918 the unit was resting, having marched some distance to place themselves in front of the enemy's advance on Albert, when a shell landed in the midst of 'A' Company, killing 5 men. No other item of interest is reported for that day in the battalion's War Diary so we might assume this was the cause of Nairn's injury, a shell wound to his left thigh and hip.

He was seen first by the 12th Field Ambulance before passing through a Casualty Clearing Station to the 18th US General Hospital on 6 Apr 1918. Evacuated the same day to the Bath War Hospital on HMHS Newhaven for treatment, before being released on 19 Apr 1918 to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford who cared for him until 22 Apr 1918. Recovered he joined the No.3 Command Depot at Hurdcott and transferred to the Machine Gun Training Depot at Parkhouse on 21 Jun 1918.

After training Nairn was sent back to France via Folkestone on 12 Sep 1918 where he joined the Machine Gun Depot on 14 Sep 1918 and was taken on strength by the 4th Machine Gun Battalion two days later as they prepared to join the attack on the Hindenberg Outpost Line.

Nairn remained in France after the Armistice until 29 Apr 1919 when he returned to Hurdcott England to prepare for Australia. Discharged 5th Military District on 10 Sep 1919.

Post War

In 1936 married Ethel May Coles. Ethel died on 29 Jun 1976 in Palmerston street, Mosman park, aged 82. Children were Yvonne and Joan

Electoral Roll entries - 1916 - 1943 Cardup estate, Beenup, farmer.

World War 2

In WW 2 William was called up by the Militia with Army No W29319 serving full time from 31 Oct 1940 until his death from illness on 28 Jun 1945, as a Warrant Officer Class 1, with the 26th Australian Works Company a militia unit. His first posting was to the No 3 Training Battalion at Northam Camp. On 15 Jan 1941 he transferred to the 13th Australian Infantry Training Battalion and moves to the No. 1 Training battalion on 17 Apr 1941. Following three separate periods of leave he reverted to Sergeant at his own request on 22 Jul 1942 and on 18 Aug 1941 transferred to the No. 2 Training Battalion.. On 22 Sep 1941 he was detached to the Machine Gun School, and on 14 Oct moved yet again to the 3rd Training Battalion.

From 17 Oct until 3 Nov 1941 he attended a course at the School of Instruction in Claremont, and although he did very well, on 23 Nov 1941 he was discharged at his own request. Total service of 1 year and 24 days.


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