The AIF Project

Norman TATE

Regimental number2901
Date of birth8 October 1889
Place of birthPort Melbourne, Victoria
Other NamesNorman Willow
SchoolNewcastle Street State School, West Perth, Western Australia
Other trainingSurveyor's Assistant
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMill hand
AddressComo, South Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 6"
Weight156 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Alice Rumbald, cnr Thelma and Mary Streets, Como, South Perth, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 November 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll20 October 1916
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name39th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 29 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll39th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
131
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of Alice Maria RUMBOLD (formerly TATE), 'Lockinge', Thelma Street, Como, Perth, Western Australia and the late Arthur TATE. Native of Victoria.
Family/military connectionsBrother: 59 Sergeant Albert Leslie TATE, 10th Light Horse, returned to Australia, 19 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 29 December 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 3 March 1917.

Marched in to 10th Training Bn, Larkhil, 21 March 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 July 1917; taken on strength, 39th Bn, in the field, 4 August 1917.

Wounded in action, 12 October 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 4 April 1918, concluded: 'Killed in action, 12 October 1917.'

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 1361 Pte H.G. MORPHETT, D Company, 39th Bn (patient, Havre Hospital), 1 March 1918: 'He was in D. Company, 15th. Platoon. I knew him slightly. On the 12th. October we were attacking, our objective was Passchendaele Ridge. On the way over I saw Tate in a shell hole wounded. I spoke to him and asked him if he was very bad, he answered saying he did not think so. About 1½ hours after this were (sic) put back and retired to our original line about 3 p.m. which we held. The Germans did not follow us up at the time, but they were over the ground about 24 hours later.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, TATE Norman
Red Cross File 2690707V

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