Norman Maxwell MALCOLM

MALCOLM, Norman Maxwell

Service Numbers: 3, Officer
Enlisted: 20 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Gawler, South Australia, 13 January 1872
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Winham College
Occupation: Journalist
Died: Perth, Western Australia, 6 April 1926, aged 54 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery & Crematorium
MA 0507
Memorials: Gawler Council Gawler Men Who Answered the Call WW1 Roll of Honor
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Sergeant, SN 3, Western Australian Citizen Bushmen

World War 1 Service

20 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
6 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Surada, Melbourne
6 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 9th Light Horse Regiment
1 Apr 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 9th Light Horse Regiment
21 Mar 1917: Discharged AIF WW1
Date unknown: Wounded 9th Light Horse Regiment

Lieutenant Norman Maxwell Malcolm

Born on 13 Jan 1872 at Gawler South Australia, son of William and Alice [nee Roberts] Malcolm. He was educated at the prestigious Whinham College in North Adelaide where he became friends with Ernest Whitington. Ernest was the grandson of pioneer South Australian pastoralist William Smallpiece Whitington.
Both Norman and Ernest were taught by the gifted Alfred Macgrath, Master of English at Whinham College.
After leaving school, Norman worked on his father’s property “Lincolnfields” near Bute for about 2 years.
Norman and Ernest commenced employment in 1888 with The Advertiser and The Register in the hope of pursuing a literary career.

In 1896 Norman moved to Western Australia where he accepted the position of Secretary to the Agricultural Bureau, promoted to Chief Clerk in 1897. During 1898 he spent 6 months as Acting Chief Inspector of Stock for the Western Australian Government.

He was a keen horseman and volunteered for the Boer War in 1899 where he served for eighteen months with the 3rd Bushmen’s Corps as a Sergeant and was later promoted to Company Sergeant Major. Two of Norman’s brothers, Wilfred Walter Malcolm and Cecil Bertram Malcolm, also fought in the Boer war.

On his return from South Africa, he resumed his position with the Western Australian Government. He married Effie Marshall on 25 Sep 1901. She was the daughter of Adelaide businessman, James Marshall, who owned a palatial mansion at Payneham called ‘Darroch’.
In 1903 Norman took up land for mixed farming at Rhynie in the Riverton district of South Australia, which by all accounts was highly successful and in 1908 he was appointed one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace.

He sold his property in 1908 and went into partnership with Mr F.W. Thring as Estate, Stock and Financial Agents whose office was at Selbourne Chambers, Pirie Street. [Mr Thring was a survivor of the John McDougal Stuart expedition in the unsuccessful attempt to cross the continent and in the 1880's was employed by the manager of Norman's father's ostrich farm at Port Augusta]
During this time Norman and Effie resided at Winchester Street, East Adelaide, then at First Ave., East Adelaide. At the time of Effie's death in May 1913 they were living at her old family home, ‘Darroch’, at Payneham.
When Mr Thring died in July 1908, Norman returned to journalism as a reporter for the “Observer” and the “Register”.

Prior to W.W.1 he served with the C.M.F. as an Area Officer in the 16th Australian Light Horse with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant
On 6 May 1913 Effie died suddenly from Pneumonia at the age of 38 years. There were no children.

When war was declared twelve months later, he was one of the first to volunteer, and on 20 Sep 1914 at the age of 42 years, he enlisted as a private in the 9th Light Horse Regiment.
He received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on 1 Nov 1914 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 16 Jan 1916.

He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT ‘Surada’ on 6 Feb 1915 and joined the expeditionary Forces on Gallipoli on 16 May 1915, just three weeks after the first landings.

He was admitted to hospital on the island of Lemnos a few months later suffering from exhaustion, dysentery and neurasthenia [shell shock]. He was later transferred to hospital in Malta and then London and returned to Gallipoli in December 1915 where he remained until the evacuation.

Norman then saw active service in Egypt and Palestine with the Light Horse and was promoted to Captain on 1 April 1916.

His health continued to decline in the desert and he suffered from Chronic Nephritis and High Blood Pressure. He was finally invalided home in 1917 to recover but soon after arrival in Australia was discharged after being found to be ‘medically unfit for service’.

Throughout his period of service during W.W.1, Norman corresponded with his friend Ernest Whitington at The Register, recording his inner most thoughts and feelings in a series of letters which documented this tumultuous period in world history.

A number of these letters were published in The Register at the time.
88 years later, in 2005, Sue Whitington discovered them in an old trunk which had belonged to her grandfather Ernest Whitington, together with photos taken by Norman Malcolm at Gallipoli and in the Middle East.
She forwarded them to The Advertiser and excerpts were published on Anzac Day, 25th April 2005.

Norman Malcolm, through his columns in The Register, was a driving force behind a proposal to build a memorial in Adelaide to the Horses of the Light Horse.

The War Horse Memorial Trough at the intersection of Grote and King William Streets Victoria Square West was finally declared ready for service on Jan 30th 1923 by Brigadier-General Leane [Commissioner of Police].

The simple Granite Memorial was draped with the Union Jack and flags were flown from a barrier erected around the memorial and from the flagstaffs of buildings in the neighbourhood.

The Horse Trough was moved in about 1925 from Victoria Square and now stands at the eastern corner of North and East Terraces opposite the main gates into the Botanic Gardens together with The Memorial to the Light Horsemen who lost their lives in the 1914 – 1918 War.
[The Obelisk was unveiled on Sunday June 5 1925]

An inscription appears on a copper plate on the back of the trough and reads :-
This Trough
Was Erected By Public Subscription
To Commemorate The Noble Services
Of Australian Horses
Towards The Empire’s Victories
In The Great War
1914 – 1918

Following his recovery Norman was again employed by the Register until 1920 when he returned to Western Australia with the intention of taking up land in the northwest of the state. He found however that his health would not stand the strain of the necessary pioneering work and he returned to journalism, this time with the Western Mail, writing under the pen name of “Canmore”.

Norman had a beautiful singing voice of baritone timbre with tenor range, and sang professionally in Perth for some years. Whilst living in Adelaide, he was one of the famous coterie of Bohemian journalists which included H. C. and W. Evans. They, with many other singers, artists and professional men were the life and soul of many a bright evening at their rendezvous, the Prince Alfred or Sturt Hotels, which were owned by Norman's uncle, John Le Maistre Roberts who was also a journalist. Norman frequently appeared on the concert platform and in operatic roles with amateur companies.

Although his chief writing love was about the land, Norman was also a capable reporter of cricket and football. His ability as a paragraphist was greatly enhanced by his wonderful knowledge of persons and memory of events. He was said to have had a charming and genial manner, and his bright spirits made him many friends. In his day there was hardly a pastoralist or viticulturist in South Australia or Western Australia whom he did not know, and his wide knowledge of both industries was shown in his able and analytical articles. He wrote under the various pen names of “High Mark”, “Hat Trick”, “Townacre” and “Canmore”.

He died on 7 April 1926 aged 55 years after 6 months in Perth Hospital, following a long and painful illness, and is buried at Karrakatta cemetery.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

The Register (Adelaide, S.A.)  8-4-1926
WELL KNOWN JOURNALIST
Death of Mr. Norman Malcolm.
The death occurred at the Perth Hospital on Tuesday afternoon of Mr. Norman Malcolm, a journalist of many years' experience both in South Australia and Western Australia. There were few journalists better known in the western half of Australia than Mr. Malcolm, who for about 39 years was a newspaper writer in the two States. There were gaps in his terms of journalism, they being filled by periods spent in the Civil Service of Western Australia, farming at Riverton, and participation in two big wars. His was a life full of interest, for Mr. Malcolm was a man who was never content to live a humdrum existence, and was swayed by many a hobby and natural bent, the following of which brought him into close touch with a great number of people who were taking a big part in their country's- welfare. Gifted with a wonderful memory for faces and events, Mr. Malcolm as a journalist knew and was known by probably as many people as any other man in either State, and his charming and genial manner and bright spirits brought him many close friends. In his day there was hardly a pastoralist or viticulturist either in South or Western Australia whom he did not know, and his wide knowledge of both industries was shown in his able and analytical articles which appeared from time to time in the Adelaide and Perth morning papers. A keen horseman and out-of-doors man, Mr. Malcolm was one of the first to enlist for the Boer war, through which he went unscathed, and then, notwithstanding his advancing years, for the Great War and in the latter he saw active service at Gallipoli and in Egypt, rose to the rank of captain, and was then invalided home. The last few years he has spent in Perth.


"Norman", as he was affectionately known to so many, was by nature a Bohemian, and his beautiful singing voice made him a distinct and welcome asset to any company he frequented. In his young days as a pressman he was the star pupil, first of the late Herr Heuzenroeder, and then of Mr. R. Nitschke, both of whom did much to turn him out one of the leading singers of the State. He had a splendid voice of baritone timbre with tenor range, and was well known on many a concert platform. He sang professionally in Perth for some years. He was one of the famous coterie of Bohemian journalists which included the late H. C. and W. Evans. They, with many other singers, artists, and professional men, were the life and soul of many a bright evening at their rendezvous, the Prince Alfred or Sturt Hotels, which were controlled by a relative of the late Mr. Malcolm. The late Right Hon. C. C. Kingston was often a member of those gatherings. Although his chief writing love was the land and all that grew upon it, Mr. Malcolm was a capable writer of cricket and football, and was in his time an able exponent of both pastimes. His ability as a paragraphic was greatly enhanced by his wonderful knowledge of persons' and memory of events, and his figure — considerably enlarged with the progress of the years — was a familiar at the 'farewell' platforms of the station and wharf, where his duty often took him to meet and see out interstate and international trains and ships. He finally dissociated himself with this State about six years ago, when he went to Western Australia for the purpose of endeavouring to take up land in the northwest of that State. He found, however, that his health would not stand the strain of the necessary pioneering work, and he settled down to his old love, journalism, at which he was engaged up to the time of the lous and painful illness which preceded death.


Mr. Malcolm was bom at Gawler 55 years ago. He was a son of the late Mr. William Malcolm, who was prominently associated with the flour miliing trade, and was the original ostrich farmer in the Commonwealth. Like his father, Mr. Malcolm was educated at Whinham College, and for a time went into the mallee country between Bute and Port Broughton. In 1888 he joined The Advertiser staff, and eight years later accepted a position in the stock department of the Western Australian Government. During his period of service there he was appointed Acting Chief Inspector during the absence or Mr. Morton Craig in England. He served in the South African war with the First Contingent of Bushmen, and after his return to Australia married a daughter of the late Mr. James Marshall, of Adelaide. Then for several years Capt. -Malcolm was engaged in farming pursuits at Rhynie, but returned to city life, and engaged for a time in land and estate business. The liking for his old profession, however, called him back to journalism, and he joined the staff of The Register. He was the first President of the local Journalists' Association, holding the position until shortly before the outbreak of the big war, when he was one of the first to enlist ,and joined as a private soldier with the 9th Light Horse Regiment. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of captain.
His literary contributions were well known under the pennames of 'High Mark,' 'Hat Trick,' 'Townacre,' and 'Canmore.
Mrs. Malcolm predeceased her husband by many years. There were no children of the union.

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