The AIF Project

Alexander Roy NORVILL

Regimental number4193
Place of birthEmpire Vale, Richmond River, New South Wales
Place of birthBallina, New South wales
SchoolPublic School, Tweed Head, New South Wales
AddressBrisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 5"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinFather, Joseph Norvill, Tweed Head, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 September 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT Commonwealth on 28 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll25th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWas a member of the Tweed Heads Rifle Club. 'From letters received by me from Corporal Crowley of the Company & others, his C.O. recommended him for a decoration, but I have not received it yet.' (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of death or woundingHamel, France
Age at death24.9
Age at death from cemetery records24
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.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph and Elizabeth NORVILL, 'Holne View', Tweed Heads, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 30 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 5 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 5 August 1916 (gun shot wound, head); admitted to 8th General Hospital, 8 August 1916; transferred to England, 9 August 1916, and admitted to Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol, 10 August 1916. Discharged to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 12 August 1916; transferred to No 3 Command Depot, 13 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 11 December 1916; rejoined Bn, 22 December 1917.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 5 May 1917 (gun shot wound, legs); admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 6 May 1917; transferred by Ambulance Train to 2nd Canadian General Hospital, 8 May 1917; to England, 13 May 1917, and admitted to Guilford War Hospital, 14 May 1917; transferred to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 24 August 1917; discharged on furlough, 25 August 1917, to report to No 4 Command Depot, 8 September 1917. Marched in to Overseas Training Brigade, Perham Downs, 11 October 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 10 November 1917; rejoined Bn, Belgium, 18 November 1917.

Admitted to 58th Field Ambulance, 1 April 1918 (scabies); transferred to 59th Field Ambulance, 3 April 1918; to Casualty Clearing Station, 7 April 1918; discharged to duty, 8 April 1918; rejoined Bn, 27 April 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Captain G. Carroll, for CO, 25th Bn, stated: 'Pte Norvill was killed on 4.7.18 after the attack which took place on that day. He was in the Support Trench at the time, when a shell blew the trench in, killing Pte Norvill instantly. He was practically unrecognisable when found. He was buried where he fell ... '

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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