Colonel William John Read Rainsford entered the Army Medical Department as a surgeon in February 1877.
He served in the Afghan war (1879–80) with the Kyber Field Force (medal); the Egyptian War of 1882 (medal and Khedive's star); in the operations of the Soudan Frontier Field Force (1885–86) and in the China war of 1900. He was mentioned in despatches, appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire and received medal with clasp.
Colonel William John Read Rainsford retired in 1909 but was re-employed during the Great War.
Service Record — William John Read Rainsford
4 Feb 1877 Gentleman William John Read Rainsford was commissioned surgeon.
Sep 1877 To Bengal from Longford.
1878 – 1882 On duty in Bengal.
1879 – 1880 Served in the
Afghan War with the Kyber Field Force (medal).
18 Nov 1882 Served in Egypt with the Indian Contingent (medal and Khedive's star). He was ordered home from Egypt instead of returning to India, having completed his tour of foreign service.
Returned to Dublin.
1885 – 1886 Served in the operations of the Sudan Frontier Field Force.
Aug 1886 Moved from Dublin to Mullingar.
Sep 1887 Moved from Mullingar to Dublin.
Malta 6 Dec 1888 Arrived from Dublin.
Malta 1889 On garrison duty.
Malta 4 Feb 1889 Promoted Surgeon-Major.
Malta 26 Aug 1890 On Home leave.
Malta 4 Dec 1890 Returned from leave.
Malta 1891 On garrison duty.
Malta 25 Aug 1892 On Home leave.
Malta 1 Dec 1892 Returned from leave.
Malta 1893 On garrison duty.
Malta 9 Nov 1894 Returned to England.
4 Feb 1897 Promoted Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel having completed twenty years' service.
Moved from Aldershot to Bengal.
1900 Served with the China Expeditionary Force during the Boxer Campaign 1900–1901.
24 July 1901 Became a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) for his services during the operations in China.
Mar 1903 Moved from Bengal to Acton. Was appointed Commanding Officer The Princess Louise Hospital Alton. The hospital had a sergeant major and 27 NCOs and men.
14 Dec 1903 Promoted Colonel vice Col James Francis Supple who retired.
Oct 1904 Appointed PMO Bermuda.
Jan 1908 Moved from Bermuda to Tidworth.
26 Jan 1909 Placed on retired pay.
3 May 1915 Re-employed during the Great War of 1914.
Sep 1917 Brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services in connection with the war.
4 Feb 1932 Died aged 80 years. Was interred at Littleham, South Devon. He was pre-deceased by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Theobald George Wolfe of Forenaughts County Kildare Ireland, who died on 12 July 1924. Their second son Colonel Marcus E R Rainsford CB Late of the Army Service Corps died on 9 June 1933.