Norman Donald MCPHEE


MCPHEE, Norman Donald

Service Numbers: 3780, 3870
Enlisted: 13 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Infantry Battalion
Born: Brunswick, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Home Town: Brunswick, Moreland, Victoria
Schooling: Brunswick State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Casemaker
Died: Killed In Action, Belgium, 29 June 1916
Cemetery: Berks Cemetery Extension
Row B, Grave No. 15 THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY OUR DEAR NORMAN, Berks Cemetery Extension, Wallonie, Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

13 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3780, 8th Infantry Battalion
23 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, SN 3870, 8th Infantry Battalion
23 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 3870, 8th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Adelaide

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Norman McPhee, service number 3870, joined to serve in World War I on 13 July 1915, at the age of 28. An unmarried boxmaker, he listed his father in Richmond, Melbourne as his next of kin. He was placed in the 8th Battalion, 1st AIF and embarked from Adelaide in late 1915, for Egypt. He arrived on the Western Front in May 1916 and was killed in action on 29 June 1916. He was buried at Berks Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert Wood, near Messines.

His belongings were returned to his father, but his belt and watch were passed to Captain James of the 8th Battalion for safe-keeping and return. Unfortunately, James himself was killed the following month, and the items were not returned to his father, in spite of attempts to track them down.

His mother stated on his Roll of Honour form that “his grandfather, John McPhee, enlisted at Stirling Scotland, in the year 1824, in the 75th Regiment, Gordon Highlanders, and was discharged from the army in 1845, on a pension. Came out to Australia in 1851 or 1852.”

One brother was killed in action at Fromelles 20 July 1916, 119 Pte William James Oliver McPhee, 32nd Battalion, and another brother, 3390 Pte. Alick McPhee of the same battalion, was severely wounded the same day, 20 July 1916, and returned to Australia medically unfit in early 1919. Another brother, 956 Richard John Valentine McPhee, was wounded 7th June, 1917, a penetrating gunshot wound to the chest, and was returned to Australia during late 1917.