The AIF Project

Norman Brill HAWES

Regimental number384
Place of birthToowoomba, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBaker
AddressWater Street, Toowoomba, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 10"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr J. Hawes, Water Street, Toowoomba, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 February 1915
Place of enlistmentToowoomba, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 29 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll25th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign).

Accidentally wounded in a bomb explosion, 3 October 1915; admitted to No 7 Field Ambulance, 3 October 1915; transferred to No 16 Casualty Clearing Station, 3 October 1915; to Hospital Ship, 3 October 1915; to No 1 South General Hospital, Birmingham, 20 October 1915 (bullet wound, back, severe).

Marched into Overseas Depot, Cairo, 14 February 1916.

Rejoined 25th Bn, 6 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 14 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 19 March 1916.

Found guilty, Hazebrouck, 2 April 1916, of being out of bounds: awarded 3 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Promoted Lance Corporal, 17 July 1916.

Wounded in action, 29 July 1916; admitted to No 1 Field Ambulance, 30 July 1916 (gunshot wound, thigh); transferred to No 3 Casualty Clearing Station, 30 July 1916; to No 26 General Hospital, Etaples, 30 July 1916; to No 6 Convalescent Depot, 3 August 1916; marched into Australian Base Depot, Etaples, 9 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 23 September 1916, and rejoined 25th Bn the same day.

Promoted Corporal, 5 November 1916.

Wounded in action, 14 November 1916; admitted to No 38 Casualty Clearing Station, 15 November 1916, and transferred to Ambulance Train the same day (gunshot wound, left arm); to No 11 Stationary Hospital, 20 November 1916; to No 1 Southern General Hospital, 21 November 1916; discharged to furlough, 15 January 1917, and to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 30 January 1917.

Marched into No 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 16 March 1917.

Transferred to 69th Bn, 23 March 1917, and taken on strength of 69th Bn the same day.

Transferred to 25th Bn, 10 June 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 June 1917; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 11 June 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 22 June 1917; taken on strength of 25th Bn, in the field, 25 June 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 24 September 1917.

Admitted to No 7 Australian Field Ambulance, 18 January 1918, and transferred to No 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station the same day (pharyngitis); discharged, 26 January 1918, and rejoined unit the same day.

On leave to England, 10 March 1918; rejoined unit, 28 March 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Statement by Captain S. CARROLL, 25th Bn: 'I have to advise you that [Sgt HAWES] was killed instantaneously by fragments from a shell which exploded very close to him, whilst the battalion was consolidating after an attack against an enemy position....He was buried at Ref. Map.62D S.W. P.31a 6.7. about 3,000 yards N.W. of Marceleave, France.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, HAWES Norman Brill

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