Norman (Darkie) MARSHALL DSO+2 Bars, MC, MID+3


Service Numbers: 562, QX6290
Enlisted: 17 August 1914
Last Rank: Brigadier
Last Unit: 2nd/25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Callander, Scotland, 10 February 1888
Home Town: Armadale, Stonnington, Victoria
Schooling: Scotch College, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Mill manager
Died: Cancer, Toorak, Victoria, Australia, 12 September 1942, aged 54 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

17 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 562, 5th Infantry Battalion
21 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 562, 5th Infantry Battalion
21 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 562, 5th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Orvieto, Melbourne
26 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 5th Infantry Battalion
5 Nov 1915: Honoured Mention in Dispatches, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
14 Jan 1916: Honoured Military Cross, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
28 Jan 1916: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
27 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 57th Infantry Battalion
2 Apr 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 57th Infantry Battalion
1 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Major, 57th Infantry Battalion
9 Apr 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Major, 60th Infantry Battalion
23 Aug 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 60th Infantry Battalion
31 Oct 1917: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Polygon Wood
7 Nov 1917: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
1 May 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 54th Infantry Battalion, To command 54th Battalion.
15 Jun 1918: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and bar, Villers-Bretonneux
11 Oct 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 56th Infantry Battalion
1 Feb 1919: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and bar, Mont St Quentin / Peronne, Second Bar to DSO
11 Jul 1919: Honoured Mention in Dispatches

World War 2 Service

1 Jul 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Lieutenant Colonel, SN QX6290, 2nd/25th Infantry Battalion
7 Oct 1940: Promoted 2nd AIF WW 2, Brigadier, Commander, 27th Brigade
23 Mar 1942: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2, Brigadier, SN QX6290, Commander, 27th Brigade

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School

World War I started on the 28th of July, 1914 and ended on the 11th of  November, 1918. Norman Marshall was one of these soldiers, born in Scotland, raised in Australia and was one of the lucky ones to fight in World War I and return home to his loved ones. 

Norman Marshall was born on the 10th of February, 1886, in Callander, Perthshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. His parents were Reverend Doctor Alexander and Jean Crawford and together they made their way to Australia, where Norman studied at Scotch College in Victoria. Throughout his college years he was known for being a strong and tall person which is why he excelled in sports and had been said to be the Boxing WelterWeight champion of Victoria. After he graduated, he became the manager of a paper mill near Geelong but he stopped when the war broke out in 1914. 

Norman Marshall was an athletic man which was why he thought he needed to head to war when it broke out. He enlisted in Geelong as a corp became a private in the 5th Battalion on the 17th of August, 1914 but in less than a month, his athletic and leader-like presence made him a corporal. On the 25th of April, 1915, he landed at Gallipoli and just a month in, he was promoted to Lieutenant because of his leadership qualities which could inspire his whole battalion. Norman Marshall soon became well known throughout the his Battalion for his determination and fierce fighting under pressure from the Ottoman Empire. In the battle of Lone Pine against the Ottoman Empire, he took out a sniper tower with a hand-made hairbrush bomb that was created with just a piece of wood and eight pieces of gun-cotton. He then led the bombers to the Turkish communication trenches and cleared them with just jam-tin bombs. On the 24th of April, 1918, he also led a famous night counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux, he organised the 15th Battalion into a straight position which then allowed them to move forward on the right lines’ which proved to be a success.  After the war ended he was extremely homesick and there was only one place to go, his home, Australia.  

On his way back to Australia, he met his brother-in-law, William Gould Davies somewhere near Barraba, New South Wales and inspired him to become a grazier with him. After that experience, he left to Mount Malakoff which is located near Stanthorpe in Queensland to start his own station. When he got home he was assigned a role in the AIF Sports Control Board because of his previous experience in sports and his athletic abilities. He then coached a rowing crew who won the King’s Gold Cup at Henley in 1919. After all his heroics in war, he was awarded multiple awards and medals from both England and Australia. Norman and Kathleen proceeded to have two children by the names of Archibald and Alexander in 1920, who both attended Scotch College like their father from 1933 to 1937. Archibald then served in World War 2 and was then killed in action in Tobruk on the 4th of May, 1941 while Alexander became a major. The following years were extremely tough for Norman, he was forced to retire from his position as commander of the 2nd/25th Battalion (and later the 27th Brigade) in World War 2 because of his grieving for his son’s death in the month of January, 1942. He then proceeded to catch multiple illnesses and soon developed cancer. With the combination of his grieving for his son’s death and his development of cancer, he died 8 months later on the 12th of September, 1942 in Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria.