Norman, Oliver

Norman, Oliver (Private, Gunner)

Oliver was born in Willunga on 27th September 1895 and enlisted at Adelaide on 1st September 1915, aged 19 years & 11 months.

He was recorded as single and a farmer, whose parents were John and (the late) Martha Selina Norman (nee Polkinghorne) of Mt Compass. A Southern Argus newspaper report lists Oliver as winning an award at the 1907 Mt Compass Show in the “Boy’s manual work” category.

His 1915 Service Record shows Oliver as being 5’5’’ tall (1.65 metres), weighing 64.4 kgs, of fair complexion, with blue eyes & dark brown hair. His religion was listed as Methodist.

Oliver attended a farewell social held at the Mt Compass hall on 26th October 1915 along with six other recently enlisted young men. The Hall was reported as being “crowded with visitors from the surrounding districts” who listened to speeches from Messrs F Slater & W Jacobs along with songs from the schoolchildren and others. Trees were also planted outside the hall for each man who had enlisted, along with one for Private P J Cameron who had been killed in action two months prior.

Private Oliver Norman then left Australia on the 18th November 1915, for service with the 4th Heavy and Medium Trench Mortar Brigade of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. In June of 1917 he suffered gunshot wounds to his right side and neck during action in France and was transferred to England for treatment.

He managed to return to France in January the following year after which he was wounded again on 1st April with shrapnel to the thorax. Oliver died the following day from his wounds while in the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital. He was 22 years of age.

Oliver is buried in the Doullens Communal Cemetery, France.

 

References: “A Guide Behind The Lines” by Richard Kleinig and trove.nla.gov.au