William Percival Nairn

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William Percival Nairn
Nairn William Percival 3189.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1893
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
; fresh complexion ; grey 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
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)
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 Australian 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, and on released on 19 Apr 1918 to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford 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.

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 WW2 William served in the Militia with Reg No W29319 from 31 Oct 1940 untill his death from illness on 28 Jun 1945, as a Warrant Officer Class 1, with the 26th Works Company Citizens Military Forces.

During the period 1939 - 1945 some unit names changed more than once. In the case of Australian Employment Companies they were also known as Works Companies, Labour Companies, Labour Units, Labour Corps. For sake of consistency I have adopted the term Employment Company. The role they played did not change with title. They were established to ensure that the Australian Defence Force had a large force of soldiers dedicated to essential labouring tasks, providing the physical labour needed to maintain the war effort and support the fighting forces.

Of the total of 39 Companies, 11 were part or fully manned by non British citizens known then as 'aliens'. These alien companies were not issued with arms.


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