Norman John BROWNE MC

BROWNE, Norman John

Service Numbers: 16, Officer
Enlisted: 12 September 1914, Place of enlistment - Roseberry Park Camp, Sydney New South Wales
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 13th Infantry Battalion
Born: Albury, New South Wales, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Thurgoona, Albury Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Public School, Albury New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds, leg blown off by shell fire, Neuve Eglise, Belgium, 22 March 1918, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: Westhof Farm Cemetery
Plot II, Row D, Grave 4 Headstone Inscription "IN SURE AND CERTAIN HOPE OF A GLORIOUS RESURRECTION"
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World War 1 Service

12 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 16, Place of enlistment - Roseberry Park Camp, Sydney New South Wales
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 16, Embarked on HMAT 'A38' Ulysses from Melbourne on 22nd December 1914
12 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 16, 13th Infantry Battalion, Embarked from Egypt to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on Gallipoli Peninsula.
3 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 13th Infantry Battalion
11 Jun 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 13th Infantry Battalion
1 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 16, 13th Infantry Battalion, Embarked from Alexandria, Egypt on 1st June 1916, disembarking Marseilles, France on 8th June 1916 to join British Expeditionary Force.
23 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion
14 Dec 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion
11 Apr 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 13th Infantry Battalion, Gun shot wound to right shoulder, initially treated at 4th Australian Field Ambulance then 56th Casualty Clearing Station then admitted to 1st General Hospital before being transferred to England on 25th April 1917 ex Grautully Castle from Le Havre for treatment. Rejoined unit on 31st August 1917.
4 Jun 1917: Honoured Military Cross, Lieutenant Norman John BROWNE
'During the tour in the trenches North of GURUDECOURT from 27th November to 6th December this Officer did excellent work. He took over GOODWINS POST ex 27/11/16 and then many of the trenches were not nearly deep enough to be safe. By his example and energy he so encouraged his men to work that in a few hours the trenches were in a comparatively satisfactory state. Near daylight on morning of 28/11/16 his men were worried by a sniper: Lieut. Browne took a rifle and at the risk of his life went out alone into the mist, and located the sniper, and shot him. He was vert active on patrol work and personally investigated a portion of an old enemy trench that was protected overhead cover although it was only 30 yards from the German front line, gaining information which greatly increased the offensive and defensive possibilities of our position. He always displayed great coolness under fire. On morning of 5th Dec. one of his men was using a Mills Rifle Grenade; on withdrawing the safety pin, owing to a faulty lever the fuze ignited. Lieut Browne swiftly seized the Grenade, withdrew it from the rifle and threw it over the parapet, the grenade exploding in the air and slightly wounding him in the hand. This prompt action undoubtedly saved several lives. On evening of 5th Dec Lieut Browne sprained his ankle, and although unable to walk and suffering great pain he remained at Goodwin Post in charge of his platoon until daylight, when his Company Commander ordered him to leave.'

Lieut-ColonelC.O. 13th Battalion A.I.F.
22 Mar 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 13th Infantry Battalion, German Spring Offensive 1918

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Biography contributed by Daryl Jones

Son of William and Nellie BROWNE, of 113 Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Native of Albury, New South Wales.