Norman Harold Whitfield

First Name: 
Middle Name: 
Last Name: 
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, October 25, 1896
Mother's Name: 
Florence (nee Fox)
Father's Name: 
Joseph Whitfield
Date Enlisted: 
Tuesday, August 11, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Rank at Discharge: 
5th Pioneer Battalion
Military Cross and Bar
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal/Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, November 5, 1950
Place of Death: 
Cause of Death: 
Railway accident

Norman Whitfield (Service No 2505) first enlisted as a Corporal in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force Tropical Unit embarking with F Company on 19th August 1914 on HMAT A35 Berrima. He completed his 6 months in Rabaul and returned to Australia. At the time of his second enlistment he was a single 20 year old electrician from Wollongong, NSW who had spent 4 years in 17th Infantry Militia.

Norman enlisted in the A I F on 11th May 1915 and embarked on HMAT A67 Orsova on 14th July 1915 with 7th Reinforcements, 1st Battalion. He arrived at Gallipoli on 4th November 1915 and remained until the evacuation. Back in Egypt he was transferred to 53rd Battalion on 16th February 1916.
On 1st March he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and transferred to 5th Pioneer Battalion on 11th March 1916.
He arrived in France on 25th June 1916 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 6th July 1916. Norman was mentioned in dispatches on 13th November 1916 for distinguished service and gallantry in the field.

On 1st February 1917 Norman was awarded the Military Cross. The citation reads: 'For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great courage and skill in siting a communication trench under heavy fire. Later, he carried out a dangerous daylight reconnaissance. He has at all times set a fine example.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 116; Date: 25 July 1917.

On 29th September 1917 he was wounded in action but remained on duty.

On 17th June 1919 he was awarded a bar to his Military Cross for action on 29th September 1918.
The citation reads: 'Near Bellicourt, on 29th September, 1918, he led his company through a heavy covering barrage to their allotted work, and was responsible for the initial success of the day's operations. Later, when the enemy held part of Bellicourt, he took forward a portion of his platoon, under heavy machine gun fire, and drove the enemy out, thereby enabling the road to be got through. Later again, in the absence of infantry, he organized a party and silenced a machine gun, and also dispersed the crew of an anti-tank gun. His marked courage and devotion to duty were an inspiration to his men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10; Date: 29 January 1920

Norman returned to Australia and was discharged on 7th October 1919. In 1920 he married Sylvia Chasling.
He enlisted in 2nd World War and served in Malaya in 1941, he was Director General of Recruiting and in 1942 was Liason of Australian and U S Forces. He retired from the Army as a Colonel.

In November 1950 Norman's luck finally ran out. He was critically injured when he fell between the platform and a train at Killara Railway Station. He died soon after from his injuries.


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