William Charles Bain 1884-1965
William Charles Bain was born 1st July 1885; the son of William & Annie Bain of Dunedin, New Zealand .Charlie enlisted in January 1917 and embarked with the 25th Reinforcements Wellington Infantry B Coy. He trained at Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plains in England & at Etaples in France. He then joined 2nd Battalion Wellington Regiment “in the field” Western Europe where he served until February 1919 when he was hospitalised first to the infirmary at Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham, then in May 1919 admitted to 2/NZ General Hospital Walton, suffering the effects of poison gas.
Charlie was invalided home in June of 1919 being classified as unfit for war service on account of illness contracted while on active service. In civilian life Charles Bain was a skilled compositor employed at the Dunedin Evening Star newspaper but like many other gas victims his health was severely compromised and he led a debilitated life following his discharge from the army.
Charlie married in 1922 Adelaide (Ada) Wheeler of Dunedin. Adelaide too suffered wounds of war though her own were emotional. Her adored fiancée had been killed in action at Bapaume-Arras in France.
Charlie and Adelaide Bain had no children of their own but Ada’s mother & a younger sister made their home with them. The Bain household numbers swelled further when following the death of Ada’s eldest sister in 1931 the couple provided a permanent home for her three children. Charlie’s kindness was often recalled and gratefully acknowledged.
William Charles Bain died on 10th June 1965 in Dunedin. Public - Lesley Elizabeth - Other Relative - 14 April 2015 - First hand acquaintance (Great-Uncle Charlie), Family oral history, NZEF Personnel File