Norman George IMLAY MC

IMLAY, Norman George

Service Numbers: 3568, Officer, N76139
Enlisted: 8 October 1915, Holsworthy, New South Wales
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Croydon, New South Wales, 11 January 1887
Home Town: Glebe, New South Wales
Schooling: Crown Street Superior Public School, Sydney
Occupation: Civil servant
Died: Natural causes, Balgowlah, New South Wales, 18 August 1973, aged 86 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

8 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3568, Holsworthy, New South Wales
20 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3568, 20th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
20 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3568, 20th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
14 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 54th Infantry Battalion
25 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 12th Machine Gun Company
23 May 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 12th Machine Gun Company
19 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 12th Machine Gun Company
20 Aug 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 48th Infantry Battalion
8 Dec 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 48th Infantry Battalion
12 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 48th Infantry Battalion
3 May 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 48th Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux, GSW (left thorax/chest)
18 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 48th Infantry Battalion
17 Jan 1920: Discharged AIF WW1, Captain, 48th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

8 Jul 1940: Enlisted Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Captain, SN N76139, Sydney, New South Wales

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

The three enlisted children of Alexander William Imlay and Emma Carbery (née Woodlands) Imlay of Glebe, Port Sydney, New South Wales:-

Lt. Col. Alexander Peter Imlay DSO & Bar (/explore/people/116644) - returned to Australia;

Sister Ellen Jean Imlay (/explore/people/126706) - returned to Australia;

Capt. Norman George Imlay MC - returned to Australia.


Awarded the Military Cross (

'At Bullecourt on 11th April 1917 for his inspiring example and devotion to duty during the attack and occupation of the Hindenburg Line. As Lewis Gun Officer he was untiring in his efforts to see his guns placed in positions that would afford the greatest protection to his Battalion. He by his splendid example and cheerful bearing put fresh spirits into his men, when it was impossible to hold the objective any longer through an overwhelming enemy counter attack, he withdrew his men and himself remained behind with other Officers covered the retirement of the men.' SOURCE: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169 Date: 4 October 1917.


'Norman, like his older brother Alexander showed an early interest in military affairs. They both served in the New South Wales Scottish Rifles, Alexander in 1901-08 and Norman in 1904-06. Norman served in Papua from October 1914 with the European Armed Constabulary and joined the 20th Battalion, A.I.F., on 8 October 1915.

Norman Imlay left Australia for Egypt with the 8th Reinforcements for the 20th Battalion on 17 December 1915. He joined the 12th Brigade Machine Gun Company on 27 March 1916, was promoted corporal on 23 May and arrived in France on 11 June 1916.

On 19 August at Pozières Norman was commissioned second lieutenant and four days later transferred to Alexander's battalion (the 48th) as a platoon commander. On 8 December he was promoted lieutenant. He received the Military Cross in June 1917, probably for his splendid efforts during the 1st battle of Bullecourt when he was in charge of a bomb and ammunition carrying party.

After promotion to captain on 12 July 1917 Imlay served with the 12th Training Battalion from August until January 1918 when he returned to the 48th Battalion. Severely wounded in the assault on Monument Wood on 2-3 May when he commanded the left front company (and deliberately ignored orders he deemed foolish), he rejoined his unit on 18 September but saw no further action. He returned to Australia in November 1919.

In 1920 Imlay resumed his career in the New Guinea Customs Department as collector of customs at Samarai. On 31 March 1927 at the Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney, he married Jessie Mildred McMaster. After various New Guinea postings he moved in 1930 to Port Moresby as Treasury accountant and in 1934 became acting treasurer and member of the Executive Council. On his retirement in 1937 he returned to Australia to work until 1957 as postmaster at Willoughby, New South Wales. During World War II he saw further service in a training role but this was of a limited nature, his wound from May 1918 having resulted in the loss of a lung. He died on 18 August 1973 at Balgowlah, survived by his wife and son, and was cremated.' SOURCE (