Norman Henry SADLER MM

Poppy

SADLER, Norman Henry

Service Number: 3373
Enlisted: 18 March 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 6th Field Ambulance
Born: Geelong, Victoria, Australia, June 1895
Home Town: Geelong, Greater Geelong, Victoria
Schooling: Geelong College, Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Dental Student
Died: Killed in action - shrapnel wounds will carrying wounded, Gibraltar Rd, Pozieres, France, 30 August 1916
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Pozieres British Cemetery (Plot IV, Row M, Grave No. 28), Ovillers-La-Boisselle, France Inscription: He died that we might live.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Geelong Barwon Rowing Club Honor Roll, Geelong College WW1 Roll of Honour, Geelong St. George's Presbyterian Church Memorial Window
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

18 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3373, 2nd Field Ambulance
4 Jun 1915: Involvement Private, SN 3373, 6th Field Ambulance, Battle for Pozières
4 Jun 1915: Embarked Private, SN 3373, 6th Field Ambulance, HMAT Ajana, Melbourne
30 Aug 1916: Involvement Private, SN 3373, Battle for Pozières
19 Apr 1917: Honoured Military Medal, Battle for Pozières , 'Near POZIERES, on the 27th and 28th July, 1916, he carried wounded practically continuously for 24 hours from the front trenches on the right to the R.A.P. and from the trenches near the POZIERES Cemetery to the R.A.P. in CHALK PIT Road, being exposed to heavy fire during the greater part of the time. From that time until the present date he has been carrying wounded through POZIERES and on three occasions when volunteers were called for to carry wounded under fire he has volunteered and carried on his work under most trying conditions.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62 Date: 19 April 1917

Help us honour Norman Henry Sadler's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of William and Frances SADLER of 71 Sydney Parade, Geelong, Vic.

Military Medal

'Near POZIERES, on the 27th and 28th July, 1916, he carried wounded practically continuously for 24 hours from the front trenches on the right to the R.A.P. and from the trenches near the POZIERES Cemetery to the R.A.P. in CHALK PIT Road, being exposed to heavy fire during the greater part of the time. From that time until the present date he has been carrying wounded through POZIERES and on three occasions when volunteers were called for to carry wounded under fire he has volunteered and carried on his work under most trying conditions.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

IN HONOR OF THE LATE PTE. SADLER

Mr and Mrs W. Sadler, of Indagrunee, Sydney Parade, parents of the late Private Norman Sadler, M.M., have received the Military Medal which was won by him at Pozieres.  Major-General Sir H.V. Cox, K.C.M.G., C.B., C.S.T., commanding the 7th Australian Division, wrote:- "Congratulating No 3373 Private N.H. Sadler, 12th Australian Field Ambulance, on bravery under heavy fire in carrying wounded, near Pozieres, from July 27th to August 15thh, B.E.F., France."  Mr. and Mrs. Sadler also received the following letter with the Military Medal.  Mrs. N.H. Sadler was well-known in Geelong, an old Geelong Collegian, and a member of St. George's Presbyterian Church.

"Department of Defence, Melbourne, 15th June, 1917 - Dear Sir - I am directed by the Honorable the Minister to say it is with feelings of admiration at the gallantry of a brave Australian soldier, who nobly laid down his life in the service of our King and Country, that I am to forward to you, as the next of kin of No. 3373 Private N.H. Sadler, the Military Medal which His Majesty the King ahs been graciously pleased to award to that gallant soldier for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the field, while serving with the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force.  I am also to ask that you accept his deep personal sympathy in the lsos which not only you, but the Australian Army, has sustained by the death of Private Sadler, whose magnificent conduct on the field of battle helpted to earn for our Australian soldiers a fame which will endure as long as memory lasts. - Yours faithfully - J. McLean, Major, Officer in charge, Base Records."

Read more...

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today, walking on the old battlefields of the Somme, here, in silence, through the poppies, I close my eyes and I see young soldiers, young and courageous running and falling in these fields which keep the traces of the past, the traces of millions of men who gave their lives, their today for us and today, it is to a young Australian man who fought and who fell here that I would like, with gratitude, to pay a very respectful tribute , I would like to honor the memory of Private number 3373 Norman Henry Sadler who fought in the 12th Field Ambulance of the Australian Army Medical Corps and who was killed in action 104 years ago,on August 30, 1916 at the age of 21 on the front of the Somme.

Norman Henry Sadler was born in 1897 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, and he was the son of William and Frances Sadler (née Stewart), of 71, Sydney Parade, Geelong, Victoria.Norman was educated at Geelong College and later in Melbourne University and before the outbreak of the war, he was a dental student and lived with his parents in Sydney Parade, Geelong, and served in C Squad, 29th Light Horse, area 69.

Enlisted in Melbourne, Victoria, on March 18, 1915 at the age of 19 in the 2nd Field Ambulance, Section C of the Australian Army Medical Corps, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, on board HMAT A31 Ajana on June 4,1915,and joined the British Exeditionary Force for Gallipoli on August 30, 1915 where he served with great courage before being evacuated on January 7, 1916 for Egypt and was disembarked in Alexandria and transferred to the 17th General Hospital in Tel-El-Kebir suffering from influenza the next day. on February 14, 1916, he was transferred to the 2nd Auxiliary Hospital in Heliopolis, Egypt, then to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital on February 29. on March 25, he was admitted to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Ghezireh and two months later, on May 12, 1916, Norman was attached to the 12th Field Ambulance of the Australian Army Medical Corps at Serapeum, Egypt.A month later, on June 2, 1916, he joined the British Expeditionary Force and embarked on board NRHT Kingstonian with his unit from Alexandria, Egypt, for France.

Eight days later, on June 11, 1916, Norman was disembarked in Marseille and was sent to the battlefields of the Somme and the following month he had to face one of the worst battles of the Somme, the Battle of Pozieres during which he served with great bravery and was awarded the Military Medal for acts of bravery on the battlefield, here is the citation:
"Near Pozieres, on the 27th and 28th July, 1916, he carried wounded practically continuously for 24 hours from the front trenches on the right to the R.A.P. and from the trenches near the Pozieres Cemetery to the R.A.P. in Chalk Pit Road, being exposed to heavy fire during the greater part of the time. From that time until the present date he has been carrying wounded through Pozieres and on three occasions when volunteers were called for to carry wounded under fire he has volunteered and carried on his work under most trying conditions."

unfortunately, the following month, on August 30, 1916, Norman met his fate and was killed in action while bringing in the wounded at Casualty Corner, near Contalmaison on the right of Pozieres, aged 21.
the private G.W Lloyd who was with Norman confirmed the circumstances of his death in a letter to the Red Cross Information Bureau:
"I was present when he was wounded. On the morning of August 30th 1916 my squad, consisting of Privates O’Callaghan, Watson, Sadler and myself, was told off to clear the 'Pozieres Cemetery Dressing Station'. To reach our destination the wounded had to be carried over two saps and across an old No Man’s Land - distance about 1½ miles. We had started on our third trip and had proceeded only 200 yards - at the time under shell fire - we crossed the first sap safely and were just about to cross the second, when a HE shell burst about five yards in front of the party. Sadler was in front - the concussion knocked the four of us over, and on receiving no response to my call, 'Come on, Norm, hop up', Watson said, 'He is hit', and it required only a glance to see that a piece of the shell had penetrated his helmet making an ugly wound over the left temple. No time was lost in dressing the wound and getting him back to the station, where he was examined by two medical officers. This was at 3.30 p.m. At 7.30 the next morning he passed peacefully away. Six of his old pals carried him to the little cemetery near our Headquarters and the burial service was read by Chaplain Henderson of the 12th Brigade. Early in September I wrote to his people and I trust you will not find it necessary to inform them through the abrupt pages. I am thankful that I have had this opportunity of giving you a correct report of my pal's death and at any time that I may be able to do you any service I will do my utmost for the Australian Branch BRCS."
A Memorial Service was held at St George's School Hall, Geelong to honour World War I servicemen who had been killed on active service. Among those honoured were Ormond Purnell (OGC) and Norman Sadler. The Geelong Advertiser printed the following tribute to Norman in November 1916:
Private Norman Sadler, of Australian Medical Corps, killed at his post, in the act of rescuing the wounded. He was known to all in the church and school, a quiet, thoughtful, retiring boy, beloved by all. He had a strong personality, and anything he undertook to do was done graciously and thoroughly."

The following letter, received by his sorrowing mother from the captain of the unit, and signed by 51 of his comrades in the same section, speaks for itself:
"France, September 12th, 1916.

Dear Mrs. Sadler,We, the members of B section, 12th Australian Field Ambulance, desire to express our sympathy at the loss sustained by you in the death of your son, Norman. Tho fact of his death will have become known to you 'ere this reaches you, but we feel it will be a source of comfort, to know of the circumstances surrounding it. Believe us to be whole-heartedly sincere when we say that Norman was the most popular man in the section. Times out of number he had displayed his sterling qualities and fearless bravery, qualities which endeared him to the hearts of all. Before setting out on what proved to be his last journey to the trenches, he was made the recipient of a certificate for consistent and conspicuous services in the previous mission. That he should be selected for special mention from a body of men who had all rendered excellent service, is a tribute of highest praise. By order of the General Officer commanding the Division, the Military Medal was awarded later.

Your son Norman died as he had lived, at his post, and after all no worthier end could have befallen him. It will be an unspeakable comfort for you to know that we secured the services of the Rev. Kenneth Henderson, Anglican Chaplain, for the burial service. A wooden cross, suitably inscribed, was fashioned by his comrades, who attended to pay the last respects. The field of battle is Norman's resting place, and there he sleeps. Your sorrow at losing Norman is, in lesser degree, our sorrow too. We commend you to tho source of Divine solace, wherein is found a balm for all human woes. Accept this letter as an expression of our grief, an appreciation of one who leaves behind both a worthy record and a saining example. - Very sincerely yours.".

Today Norman Henry Sadler rests in peace with his friends and comrades at Pozieres British Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "He died that we might live."

Norman, you who served as a stretcher bearer in the heart of the trenches, on the battlefields, young and brave, you were loved by all, by your family, by your friends on the front lines and by your battalion who had great affection for you.You were always a volunteer, even under intense artillery fire, facing the rain of shells and bullets to save the lives of your comrades who lay in the mud hoping for help and comfort from a hand soothing their wounds and with a benevolent heart like yours to bring into their hearts, in their bruised souls, a little comfort and the hope of coming out alive from the trenches that mowed down the lives of so many young men. in the heart of the hell of the Somme, you fought and served with admirable bravery, putting your heart, your strengths and your devotion to your comrades and I understand the admiration and love they had for you and their sadness to lose a friend like you who were for many a light in the darkness who saved the lives of many men, you gave your youth and your life to save those of men as brave as you who suffered terribly but who fought together in the most beautiful spirit of camaraderie, fighting with courage for their country, their families but also for the man who were next to them, the war shattered too much lifes and the fields of the Somme saw so many horrors under the dark clouds of war but which also saw the courage of men who risked their lives for the lives of others just as you did Norman, by giving your today for our tomorrow, your life, you saved the lives of millions of people who live today in a world at peace and today we honor more than a stretcher bearer who sacrificed his life for others on the battlefield, we honor the memory of a man,of a hero, of a man whom I am proud to call "one of my boys of the Somme" and we will always honor your memory with the greatest respect and I will always take care of your memory and your grave with devotion as you did for your friends, you will never be forgotten, your name, your courage and your acts of bravery will always be remembered with love and gratitude.Thank you for all you have done for your comrades, for us, for a better world, from the bottom of my heart, your name will live on forever.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them. 

Read more...