Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
WW2 15 Innes Road, Christchurch AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
WW2 Mrs L.S.L Bain (mother), 15 Innes Road, Christchurch AWMM
Medals and Awards
Military Cross (MC) AWMM
18 October 1945 AWMM
The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Bain, Thomas Maxwell Vagario. (Ref. WO 373/14/233). Military Cross. AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Capt T. M. V. Bain, MC; Whangarei; born Christchurch, 14 Mar 1915; insurance officer. (Source: Murphy, W.E. 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. p.713.)
'To the new corps commander, Lieutenant-General A. F. Harding, and his CCRA, Brigadier V. C. Green, it seemed impossible that Queree's staff could complete in just over 24 hours a programme very nearly as heavy as that of Operation Buckland, which had taken a far larger staff weeks to prepare and promulgate. Harding had told Freyberg by telephone the previous evening that he would supply all the additional artillery the Division needed and was sending forward the 152nd and 154th Field, the 75th and 78th Medium, a survey battery and a meteorological section. But at lunch with Freyberg and Queree on the 15th Harding and Green urged a further postponement of Spaniel. Queree would not hear of it. Everything was well under control, he assured them, and all would be ready in good time. Even Brigadier Parkinson had misgivings. ‘It will be an amateurish shoot because the regiments are just getting into position now’, he pointed out to Freyberg after 3 p.m. in relation to flanking fire from the Indian division on the right. But by 6 p.m. the last ‘t’ was crossed, the last ‘i’ dotted, and all was ready. As a feat of planning, administration and signalling it was superb, and probably, of its kind, equalled only by Austin which followed three nights later.
Spaniel began at 9 p.m. on the 15th with a barrage fired by the three NZA field regiments, the 1st and 12th RHA and the 104th and 152nd Field; concentrations fired by the 142nd Field (SP), the 5th and 75th Medium and a Polish medium regiment; a CB programme by the 76th Medium and 61 Battery (155s) of the 32nd Heavy; and a CM programme by a battery each of the 142nd Field and the 55th Heavy Ack-Ack. Bofors guns marked the boundaries and also make-believe boundaries beyond the flanks to make the enemy think the attack was on a wider front than the 3000-odd yards covered by the barrage. Everything went like clockwork. It was a flawless performance. The infantry nevertheless had a hard fight in places, especially on the left flank, and they were not surprised to find out in the morning that they were up against the still-formidable 4 Parachute Division. Several DF tasks were called for after the barrage ceased at 11.50 p.m.
Captain Bain of 26 Battery was with 22 Battalion, and when the infantry struck heavy opposition he quickly established an OP. From this he controlled the fire of the 4th Field and also of other regiments and did much to break down resistance. About 100 prisoners were taken. Then Bain moved on and after dawn he again brought down accurate fire which helped the infantry to capture about 50 more paratroops. For this and for later work at the Gaiana canal Bain earned an immediate MC.' (Source: Murphy, W.E. 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. p. 713.) AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
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Thomas Maxwell Vagarie Bain
- Murphy, W. (1966). 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 6 (Embarkations from 1st October, 1941 to 31st December, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 15 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1945 to 31st December, 1945). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
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