Norman Edwin FISHER (FISCHER)

Badge Number: 1450, Sub Branch: Kapunda
1450

FISHER (FISCHER), Norman Edwin

Service Numbers: 4423, S37940
Enlisted: 21 January 1916, Adelaide South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 25th/33rd Garrison Battalion
Born: Eudunda, South Australia , 14 June 1895
Home Town: Marrabel, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm labourer
Died: Drowned, Kapunda, South Australia , 7 July 1947, aged 52 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials:
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Peacetime

21 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide South Australia

World War 1 Service

25 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4423, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4423, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide

World War 2 Service

11 Dec 1941: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN S37940, 25th/33rd Garrison Battalion, Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces

World War 1 Service

Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

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Biography

Tragedy of War

Norman’s German grandparents had emigrated from Silesia in 1848. Norman's father Gustav Adolph Fischer (1850-1930) was born at Hoffnungsthal, Lyndoch area, was bankrupted in well publicised case which he lost in 1915.

Gustav’s two younger brothers were also bankrupted in 1889; farming was often a struggle.

Norman Edwin Fischer/Fisher  enlisted in January  1916 under the anglicised name of Fisher albiet before and after the war he generally used the family name, Fischer

One of Norman’s slightly older brothers, Harold James Fisher/Fischer and a close mate of both brothers, John Henry Noble enlisted later in 1916.

Harold disappeared in September 1917 during the Paschendaele offensive, Norman was severely wounded in action in November 1916 and John in 1917; after surviving the horrors of the Western Front both returned to Australia changed men.

What hard and sometimes sad lives nourished only by family life these men led.  The Fischer brothers were farm labourers and as third generation Australians of German descent with drought, rising inflation and xenophobia, finding work would have been so extremely difficult that enlistement must have been seen as the best option

John Noble  married Norman’s sister after the war and in about 1923 both men applied for and were granted soldier settlement blocks.

Norman worked extremely hard to established his farm at Hansborough, a part of the Anlaby estate.

As a result of the Great Depression Norman and John, lost their settlement farms in the early 1930s and in 1935 John committed suicide in Norman’s barn.

His nephew (my father - died 2012) was a 15 year old when he found his uncle John’s body hanging in the barn. My father would not talk about much of this.

Clearly John felt his only option was suicide where as Norman, with WW2 approaching, chose enlistment again as the path to survival.

Upon re-enlistment Norman was posted to Loveday internment camp near Barmera South where is duties were to guard POW and Internees.

(For more information about Loveday Camp see link) 

Following the war Norman moved into a rental house in Kapunda and  then in 1947, like his brother-in-law, and so many other returned men, he took his life by throwing himself into a dam diagonally across from his home. - Robert Fisher

"Found Drowned At Kapunda

KAPUNDA.— Norman Edwin Fisher, 53, was found drowned in a dam about 100 yards from his home on Monday morning. He was reported missing to the police in the early hours of the morning, and after several hours' search Constables Curtis and Henwood found the body in about 4 ft. of water. Fisher was a returned soldier from World War I., and has been in ill-health for some time. He leaves a wife and family of three. An enquiry was considered unnecessary by the local Coroner (Mr. F. S. Arbery)." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 10 Jul 1947 (nla.gov.au)

 

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