Norman Lambert FOX

FOX, Norman Lambert

Service Number: 390
Enlisted: 4 September 1914, Enlisted at Rockhampton, QLD
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 9th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bombandy Station, Clermont, Queensland, Australia, 1890
Home Town: Clermont, Isaac, Queensland
Schooling: Southport School, Southport, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Died of wounds, General Hospital, Cairo, Egypt, 18 February 1916
Cemetery: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery
Row D, Grave 324 Chaplain G.W. Carter officiated Headstone inscription reads: To the foolish they seem to have died, but they have won the crown of peace 3 CHP. Wisdom of Solomon,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Clermont All Saint's Parish Roll of Honor, Gracemere Roll of Honour, Yeppoon War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

4 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 390, Enlisted at Rockhampton, QLD
24 Sep 1914: Involvement Private, 390, 9th Infantry Battalion
24 Sep 1914: Embarked Private, 390, 9th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Omrah, Brisbane
18 Feb 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 390, Abdominal wounds. Fatally wounded at bomb training school

Help us honour Norman Lambert FOX's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Carol Foster

Son of Frederick Young Fox and Margaret Isabel Fox of 'Chelsea', Emu Park,  Queensland; brother of Frederick Young Fox who returned to Austraia on 23 October 1918 having served with the 49th Battalion

Medals: 1914-45 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Biography contributed by Patricia Kennedy

Norman Lambert Fox was born in March 1890, one of four children born to Frederick Young Fox Senior and Margaret Isabella Craig.  The family was living at Clermont, Queensland at the time of his birth, for reasons unknown his birth was never registered.  A younger brother, Frederick Young Fox Junior, was born in 1894, this birth was registered at Rockhampton.

For his education Norman attended Southport High School and was living at Carfax, Queensland when war was declared.  Norman and his younger brother, Fred, both decided to enlist, but first they rounded up three of their mates, Robert (Bert) George Mort Hamilton, Jack Atherton and Peter Stuart who travelled with them down to Rockhampton.  Jack and Peter enlisted first on 1 September, Norman and Fred enlisted 4 September, Bert, for some reason, travelled down to Brisbane to enlist on 19 September.  All were allocated to the 9th Battalion. 

The 9th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF, all recruits were from Queensland and along with the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions formed the 3rd Brigade, which became part of the 1st Division.  Norman's attestation papers states that he was aged 24 years and six months old, he stood 5 feet 7 inches, his complexion was fresh with brown eyes and black hair.  His mother, Mrs F Y Fox of Martinsville, Yeppoon, Queensland was nominated as his next of kin. 

Norman and the others soon found themselves at Enoggera Training Camp, Brisbane before leaving for Melbourne 24 September where more training was undertaken at Albert Park.  On 19 October the 9th Battalion boarded SS Omrah anchoring in King George's Sound, Western Australia on 24 October where they waited for other ships to form a convoy.  Norman left Albany on 1 November finally disembarking at Alexander on 6 December then onto Mena Camp for more training.  On his arrival, Norman would see the Pyraminds for the first time.

Norman, and the rest of the troops plunged at once into their task, the first month was devoted to training of companies, then training as a battalion.  This took place for at least eight hours a day six days a week with Sunday a rest day.  Norman's battalion would march out every morning and then would split into companies, retiring, drilling or in groups listening to their officer.  At first, in order to harden the troops, they wore as a rule, full kit with heavy packs on their routine marches through soft sand.  For nearly four months training continued with the men of the AIF eager to go into battle.

On 1 March 1915 Norman and the rest of the 3rd Brigade were back at Alexander embarking on HMT Ionian sailing to Lemnos Island arriving there 6 March.  The rest of the 1st Division eventually sailed into Mudros Harbour one month later joining hundred of other ships, transport, warships, torpedo craft, trawlers and white hospital ships with green bands around them.

More training was now in store for the trops, this time they had to practice disembarking from a ship, getting ashore and charging forward.  This they did time and time again, becoming practiced in climbing down the ships' side in full kit on swinging rope ladders, in rowing and in landing themselves ashore.

On the morning of the 24 April the troops of the 3rd Brigade were issued with 200 rounds of .303 ammunition, an entrenching tool with two empty sandbags wrapped around it, a heavy backpack with two white bags containing two day's extra rations which included a can of bully beef, biscuits, tea and sugar.

After midday the destroyers came alongside the transports of the 3rd Brigade and transferred half of the 9th Battalion onto the Queen, half of the 10th Battalion to the Prince of Wales and half of the 11th Battalion to the London.  These were to be the first wave; the rest would follow in half an hour.

As the tows approached the cove, Lieutenant Colonel Sefil Aker of the Turkish 27th Regiment was looking out to sea from the Ari Burnu headland at the northern end of Anzac Cove.  They had been spotted.  At 4 am the first flow of dawn allowed men to distinguish between hills and sky which meant that the Turks could also see them.

Single shots start then two or three, then it began very fast, Norman's war had now begun, in the rush to get out of the boats many soldiers slipped on the stony sea bed, getting wet in the process.  Once ashore confusion was starting to set in, the men had been told that they would have to run across ten or fifteen yeads of sand, take cover under a low cliff four or five feet high, drop their packs, form up and then rush across 200 yards of open to the first hill.

Something was not right; it didn't take long to realise they had to more from where they were and take whatever cover they could.  Their clothes were heavy with water and rifles blocked with sand and gravel.  The bank in front of them was so high and steep that anyone who tried to clamber up slipped back. 

The troops did remember what they were told and that was to advance, this they did, dropping their packs somehow, they managed to claw their way up the steep and stony cliff face.  By nightfall Norman would have found whatever cover he could perhaps digging in and getting some sleep due to sheer exhaustion.  With night also came the cold and as most of the troops were soaked with sea water, moisture invaded all that they were wearing.  Leaving his kit behind on the beach also meant that Norman had no food or water.

During the next few months Norman endured harsh conditions as the very cliffs he scaled on that first day had to be used to cart water, food, ammunition and field guns which were manhandled up the steep terrain.  By July sickness was becoming problematic amongst the troops, summer brought the flies in plague propertions, sanitation was now causing diarrhoea and by the end of August Norman had been sticken down with the disease.

On 29 August Norman was transferred to a hospital ship at Gallipoli then taken back to Egypt where he was admitted to the No 2 General Hospital at Ghezirch Palace for treatment.  After his recovery Norman was transferred to a Convalescent Camp at Helouan on 25 October then 3 November he was discharged to Base Details at Zeitoun.

Norman was to receive a promotion as Temporary Corporal 9 January 1916 then 16 January was taken on strength to the Imperial School of Instruction.  Just one month later, 18 February 1916, Norman was accidently injured by a bomb.  He was admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis with abdomen injuries, sadly Norman died the same day, he would never see his family and country again.

A Court of Enquiry was held on 21 February 1916 by the 3rd Echelon General Headquarters E.E.F. to determine the cause of Norman's death, many searches have failed to locate to enquiry, the paperwork was retuned to Headquiarters 8 March 1916, again this cannot be located.  The Fox family was later told by others who witnessed the accident that one of the men put a mortar in upside down and blew up the mortar party.  R.S.M. Alexander Mann Kirton who was in charge of the training was also killed that day.

His effects were retuned to his mother, they considered of Photos, correspondence, Cards, Safety Razor, Prayer Book and 3 brushes from Kit Store.

Norman was laid to rest in the Cairo Cemetery, a large monument has been placed over his grave, by who, is not known.  On the day of Norman's death his rank was reverted back to Private, however on his grave the rank is given as Sergenant.

There is some debate on Norman's rank after he was killed, his Service Record clearly states that on the day of death his rank reverted to Private.  His mother received a parcel from Thomas Cook on 30 May 1916 with his Chevrons referring to him as Sergenant, again later in August 1916 Thomas Cook gave him the rank of Sergeant.  The Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour states; Private.

In July 1920 when Base Records wrote to Norman's mother his rank was again stated as Sergeant, later he was known as Corporal in 1921 when his father received the Memorial Scroll and when the Victory Medal was sent in 1922, he was a Private.

Sources:

National Archives of Australia Service Records: Norman Lamber Fox SN 390, Frederick Young Fox SN 389, Robert George Mort Hamilton SN 1016, John (Jack) Atherton SN 390, Peter Stuart SN 378 and RSM Alexander Mann Kirton SN 450

Australian War Memorial War Diaries: AWM4 Subclass 23/26 - 9th Infantry Battalion.

The Official History of Australia in the War 1914-1919 Vol 1 and Vol 11

Gallipoli - L A Carlyon

Family information provided by Fox family members.

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