Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

Lewis Horace Everett NORTON


Born: 12 December, 1891

Birth registration: Registered Fromme, South Australia, Page # 204, Vol # 490

Birthplace: Quorn, South Australia

Parents: Thomas Norton
Lizzie Everett-Norton (Everett)

Died: 30 September, 1918

Cause: Killed In Action

Place of death: Neuroy (alternative spelling Nauroy)

Burial place: Plot 2, Row E, Grave 10, Bellicourt British Cemetery, Bellicourt, Picardie, France

Awards and Honours

  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


2/29th Battalion



Regimental Service Number: 1808

Enlistment date: 7 August, 1915 Broadmedows, Victoria

Age at enlistment: 23 years 8 months

Address at enlistment: Melton

Religion: Church of England

Marital Status: Single

Next of kin: Father:Thomas Everett Norton, Melton

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Weight: 10 stones 4 pounds
Complexion: Ruddy
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark Browwn
Distinctive marks: Moile on neck, 2 black on left cheek,scars right knee, 3rd finger left hand

Embarkation ship: HMAT Demosthenes.

Rank: Private

War Service Summary

31/01/1916 - Disembarked Suez,

Feb 1916 - Heliopolis,

March 1916 - Montazah, Ghezirch, Tel-el-Kebir

16/06/1916 - Ex Alexandria,

23/06/1916 - Arrives Marsailles

24/10/1916 - Wounded in action in France; shell / shrapnel wound right forearm.

08/12/1916 - Discharged from hospital

30/09/1918 - Killed in Action advancing on an old sugar factory at Neuroy. A shell exploded near him killing him instantly. (alternative spelling Nauroy)

Buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, France

28/02/1923 - Victory Medal to L. Everett-Norton
24/04/1924 - British War Medal to Lizzie Everett-Norton

War Service Commemerated

Killed in action.

Date: 30 September, 1918

30/09/1918 - Killed in Action advancing on an old sugar factory at Neuroy (alternative spelling Nauroy). A shell exploded near him killing him instantly.

Buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, France. Red Cross Report: Sergeant H.W. McKenzie “I knew the casualty, he was a man about 5’ 8”, medium built, dark complexion, about 26 years of age, known as Les. Casualty was advancing on an old sugar factory at Neuroy. I was in the same advance and was in charge of the Company. An H. E. Shell exploded near casualty, killing him instantly. I was twenty yards away at the time the shell exploded and I saw his body laying out in the open ground. He was buried about two thousand yards from where he fell, near Bellincourt.” Buried: Plot 2, Row E, Grave 10, Bellicourt British Cemetery, Bellicourt, Picardie, France

Additional Information

Other relevant information:
29/05/1919 Miss E. Sylvia Everett-Norton, Esplanade Hotel, St. Kilda requests information about Lewis burial. Service File as does Mr. T Everett-Norton at same time P 32-36.

1914 Electoral Roll - Melton; occupation labourer (and 1919 Electoral Roll)

Melton Express
Saturday 13 January 1917 p 3
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 13 January 1917 p 3

Notes from Lewis Norton, of Melton:- Bishop's Knoll, Stoke Bishop, Bristol, England. A few days after I wrote last orders came along we had to go down to the Somme again, and it was impossible to write down there. It was very wet and cold, and so much mud about that one had to be careful or he would get stuck in it, and have to get two or three men to pull him out. You will know before this I got wounded down there, on 24th Oct., and I am now in England. I was lying in a sort of shelter, which I had made in the side of the trench, having a sleep, when Fritz dropped one of his "heavies" into it, and caught five out of the six men with me. I got hit in the right elbow joint by a piece of iron. From the spot where I got hit, to the ambulance station, was 6_ miles, and I had to be carried on a stretcher all the way. I shall never forget it, as the ground was nothing but a mass of shell holes; and, to make matters worse, it rained all the time. As it took nearly seven hours to get there, you can imagine what a time we had, with Fritz dropping shells around us all the way. I was very weak from loss of blood, and was glad to get my wound properly dressed. Next I had two hours ride in a motor ambulance to the Casualty Receiving Station, where the doctor said I would have to be X rayed, and that meant another 11 miles to the Clearing Station, which I reached about 10 o'clock at night. At 6 o'clock next night we were put into a hospital train, and sent up to the Base. Although it was 4 o'clock in the morning when we got there, I shall never forget how I felt after I had been washed and put into bed. It was so delightful to be between the sheets, that I could hardly realise I was really there. Here I had to go under two operations, to have the pieces of shell taken out of my arm. The doctor asked me if I wanted the pieces for souvenirs, and I told him that as I had had them for over 80 hours that was enough for me, so he did not keep them. I wish I had got them, and sent them home, as that is what all the boys do. My arm is very sore, and if the Sister catches me writing I shall get scolded severely, as I am not supposed to do anything with it yet awhile. After the operation, the doctor told me he was going to send me to "Blighty," so I left Etaples for Calais; but it was too rough to send us across that day, so we were taken off the boat to the General Hospital at Calais, where we spent the night, and a good time we had. Next day it was almost as rough, but we left France about 12.15, and arrived at Dover at 1.30. It was only a short run, but it was awfully rough. There were two hospital ships to unload when we got along side, but it was not long before I was in a train bound for Bristol. Strange to say, I was the only Anzac on the train, so you may guess I was quite a person of importance. The journey occupied' 6_ hours, and we arrived at Bristol at 11 p.m., where we were given a great reception. I had a motorcar all to myself, and was taken to Bishop's Knoll, the home of Mr. R. E. Bush, who turned his beautiful mansion into a hospital when war broke out; but it is now exclusively an Australian hospital. Artists from Bristol give us a concert twice a week, and we get plenty of outings, as the people are always sending their motorcars and taking us out to tea. The first day I was here some people came to visit me, and asked me to invite them to come and see me on visiting days (twice a week). You ought to see my locker after they leave, it would do your eye sight good, for it is filled with all manner of good things. With best wishes for a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, and hope that next Xmas I shall be at home.

Melton Express
Saturday 20 October 1917 p 3
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 20 October 1917 p 3

Notes from Lewis Norton, of Melton:-
France.- We are back from the line again, this time after only one week's turn of duty, and are at present resting in a quiet little village about 28 miles behind the line. This is only the second rest our boys have had since we came to France, and they need it badly, as they look very tired and worn. I expect we shall have about three week's here, and it is the general opinion we are going up north again, where we first went into action. If that is so, there is something big in store for us. As Fritz gave us a pretty bad time up there, we must get our own back again. I was out by myself for three days and nights, on an observation post, quite close to Fritz's lines, and to make matters worse neuralgia almost drove me frantic. As it was out of the question for me to move in the day time, I just had to sit still and put up with it until it got dark, when I used to crawl and walk about till daylight came. I could hardly stand it, and the last night must have got a trifle careless, as I nearly walked into one of Fritz's patrols. I thought the game was up that time, so dropped down and pulled the pins out of my two grenades, ready to give them when they came at me; but my luck was in as they must have had their eyes shut, and passed within 10 paces without seeing me. I think that was just about the most exciting little adventure I have had; for if they had spotted me, it was good night me, as all I could have done was to give him my two bombs for a start, and then make a dash for our lines; but the chances are that those who were left would have got me, or else I should have been caught by his machine gun fire while getting back across "no-man's land." There were 10 of them, as near as I could count, and they must have had very poor eyesight not to see me. I crawled back to my shell hole till it was time for me to go back to our own people. Harvest is in full swing about here at present, and in many cases our boys are to be found giving the poor farmers a friendly hand, and I can assure you it is greatly appreciated, as labor of any description is frightfully scarce, and the women have to do a great deal of the work. It is heartrending to see some of the poor souls who are thus compelled to work in the fields - many are almost bent double with age, and many a time have I seen one of our fellows (perhaps just returned from a long march himself) go out and take the place of these poor creatures; and the smiles (aye, and sometimes tears, too) tell one more eloquently than ever words could do how deeply these kind actions are appreciated. I went into Amiens a few days ago, and, all things considered, had a pretty good time. It is one of the largest cities in France. I really cannot tell you much about it, as it is just the same as most Continental cities; and God knows, I have been in plenty of them since we came over. I know how strange and interesting they would seem to you people at home, but for me they have lost all their charm, and would prefer dear, smoky old Melbourne any day to the best place in France. I went to see the magnificent Cathedral of Amiens, which is now probably one of the oldest left standing in this country, as the Huns have destroyed some of the best of them. I will tell you all about it some day when I come home. We are still resting in the same village, but do not think the good thing will last much longer.

Melton Express
Saturday 28 September 1918 p 3
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 28 September 1918 p 3

Notes from letters of various dates, from Lewis Norton, of Melton, who had been gassed:- 10th Convalescent Depot,. France.
Have had rather an exciting day today (Sunday). Just to give you an idea how we spend our time will give a short account - After Church Parade there were two games of football, one of baseball and two of lacrosse - quite a nice little program for Sunday morning, I am sure. Then in the afternoon a party of "Waacs" (Women's Auxiliary Army Corps) came in from Boulogne to play a game of hockey with a team of boys from this depot. This was the star turn of the day, and the whole camp turned out to witness the match. The applause was simply deafening when the girls took the field, showing clearly that the khaki girls were firm favorites. At first things looked black for the home team, as the Waacs looked all over winners, but weight told in the end and the depot team won by 5 goals to 4. It would have been a great finish but for an unfortunate accident to one of the girls, who slipped and broke her leg. She was a rare game one, for there was not a murmur from her all the time we were taking her across to the hospital.
After tea the dining hut was cleared for dancing. I guess you will be shocked at the thought of all this happening on a Sunday, but, truth to tell, that day does not exist over here, once Church Parade is over. Every night of the week is set apart for some event or other. I expect to be discharged from here at any time now, as I am pretty near fit to go back up the line again. I see that the Melton boys have been figuring largely in the casualty lists of late. Truly it is a miracle that any of us are left to tell the tale. It is no use grousing, as there is only one way to settle this little argument - give as much as we can and as often as possible. If old Fritz comes over to us (as we think he will) I guess he will find himself right up against it. I do not for a moment think there is the remotest possibility of him making any impression on our line, but would not care to venture an opinion as to what might happen to his. Our hopes of the world settling down to the peace and industry of pre-war days may be nearer realisation than we imagine. But in the meantime there is but one thing left to do "Carry on." You never mentioned that you had extracts from my letters put in the paper; not that it really matters, but you might have told me, and not let some guy spring a surprise on me.
I have been in hospital almost three months, and since coming to this depot have enjoyed myself immensely - that is to say, as well as one could expect under existing circumstances (gas poisoning is not to be envied) but it would be a poor specimen of manhood who would grouse at the treatment meted out to patients here. All good things must come to an end, and by this time next week I shall probably be well on my way towards that swirling vortex, whereon the eyes of the whole world are at present riveted; for it is there that the great nations of the earth are engaged in a Titanic struggle, the like of which has never before been known. It is there that the future is being moulded in a furnace of flame and steel such as the most subtle imagination could never picture. There all we are fighting for is at stake. Upon the result hangs the future of civilization and the destinies of generations yet unborn. At present the issue hangs in the balance, but that we shall win I have no doubt; for grave though the situation undoubtedly is, the time is not far distant when the tide will turn in our favor. I firmly believe that I am voicing the opinion of a vast majority of our fighting men. That is the spirit which animates the whole of the British armies - a calm confidence that we shall prevail against the Kaiser and his Huns - and that in the very near future. That the end is near there can be no doubt; I feel certain that by the time this letter reaches you the crisis will have been passed, and that matters will have assumed a far different aspect. In the meantime, we must look at the facts as they are and wait until this -- the Hun's supreme effort - has been exhausted.
When I saw the "quack" last week he asked how I felt. Told him I was fit to go back for another mouthful of gas, and he looked dumbfounded. The specialist told me all the gas was off my lungs so guess I am all right now. If appearance goes for anything I ought to be the fittest man in the army, as I am as fat as a pig. France is a very dreary place in the winter, but at this time of the year it is one of the most beautiful places imaginable. Just about here (which is one of the most historic places in Europe) the scenery is such that I doubt if it could be excelled in any part of the world. We are right at the mouth of the Seine, one of the most magnificent rivers in the country, and in peace time one of the gay spots of the Continent. I am leaving for the Front early in the morning.
I have rejoined my unit and am once again in the midst of the big fight. We are back in the old Somme region again. It is heart breaking to see the way things are knocked about. All the villages for miles behind the line are deserted, the inhabitants having taken only what few things they could carry, leaving all other belongings behind. It is pitiful to see the animals left behind, and in the back areas you will see our boys milking the cows which they have taken care of. On my way up from the base I passed through what was once one of the most beautiful of France's provincial cities. I was in it almost a year ago on leave. The contrast between that day and today is appalling. Its once magnificent cathedral is a shell-torn pile of ruins and its streets strewn with debris.
(To be continued.)

Melton Express
Saturday 5 October 1918 p 3
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 5 October 1918 p 3

Notes from letters of various dates, from Lewis Norton, of Melton, who had been gassed: [Continued from last week.]
I had no writing paper left after my last note, so the boys got fossicking about the village, and in what was once the schoolhouse they found some old schoolbooks which still had a few unused pages in them, hence this letter. There is a history attached to this old paper, as in the first instance the book was used by a student of scientific research in the year 1898, and here I am using portion of it to write home to you, 20 years later. All that is left of the school to-day is portion of the walls and they are gradually disappearing under Fritz's almost perpetual strafing. I guess they will nearly want a new school house in this locality "apres le guerre." It seems a terrible shame to think that, such wanton destruction should be tolerated in these so called days of enlightenment. This particular village was, three months ago, typical of thousands of other smiling villages in this unhappy war-stricken country. To-day it is a pile of ruins, its inhabitants driven from their homes by the devastating beast of war, and their lands laid waste by that arch enemy of civilization - the Hun. Back in the reserve lines it is no uncommon sight to see our fellows with their dug-outs all furnished with furniture, salvaged from some ruined village; in many cases they have stray cows and goats, which they have taken care of, and, needless to say, these are treasured possessions. Of course a great deal of material has been salvaged by the authorities, but this is not possible in the forward areas, so the boys might just as well use these things for their own benefit as leave them for the Hun to destroy with his artillery. There is always one building in every town or village that Fritz never fails to turn his heavies on - that is the church, and I can tell you he is some class at the game. At present my little shack is about 200 yards away from the local church, and a few days ago I saw him get three direct hits on it in about as many minutes. It is the same wherever we go, and there is something decidedly uncanny about his marksmanship when he turns a battery on to a church; after he has strafed it systematically he turns his attention to the remainder of the place. We work all night at various duties and get what rest we can in the daytime. Of course Fritz has a pretty big say as to whether the programme goes off as nicely as it reads, as he makes himself a very disagreeable neighbour at times.
I am still in the land of the living and going strong. We have been back in reserve for a week - and what a week it has been. We are billeted on the outskirts of an evacuated town on the banks of the Somme, at one of the most beautiful places along the whole length of the river, on which there are scores of boats. The greater part of my leisure hours were spent boating. It is very pleasant to go floating along this beautiful river, whose banks are richly clothed with that magnificent sylvan scenery which only the forests of France can bestow. An evening thus spent is one of the greatest relaxations for the mind and a fellow forgets for a while that there is a war on at all. Sometimes one's day dreams are rudely disturbed by the unexpected arrival of one of Fritz's coal boxes.
I have joined the Machine Gun section and am now a full-blown Machine Gunner. I got in the way of one of Fritz's gas shells a few nights back and the little sniff I got has played up with me - am afraid it always will after the last lot; the doc. sent me out to the rest home for a few days to allow the effects to wear off. In these parts the not help thinking that these beautiful days are wasted because of this infernal conflict. Just at this particular spot it is very peaceful (when the guns are silent for a while) and I believe I could live here for the duration. Our tent is pitched in a large copse and I can tell you it sounds just like home to lie and listen to that sweet melody of the forest. There is one thing lacking, though, and that is the birds over here are not gifted with that exquisite power of song like the birds in that wonderful country we love to call Home. That is one thing we miss and I hope the day is not far distant when I shall be awakened one fine morning by some old common-place magpie sounding the reveille somewhere in that faraway land of the Southern Cross. She is a wonderful place that Homeland of ours; and just let me tell you, right here, that there is not a prouder race of men on this old ball of mud than those guys of ours who say we come from that one little place (does it really exist?)-Aussy. Some place that, I tell you. Roll on the days when we shall be back there once more. I reckon- that is about the lump sum and total of my news so will, ring off. Please remember me kindly to all kind friends.

The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 2 November 1918 p 2

Profound sorrow was manifested on Monday when word was received that two local soldier boys had made the supreme sacrifice. Private Lewis Norton, son of Mrs. Norton, Melton, was killed in Action, somewhere in France, in August. The sad news was broken to the bereaved mother by the. Rev. Geo. Rogers. Private Norton had served three years in the battlefield. Rev. B. Williams conveyed the distressing intelligence to the sorrowing parents. Both soldiers were well and favorably known in the district and the utmost sympathy is extended to the relatives of both. Flags at the Shire hall, the Mechanics' and the State school were flown half-mast as a tribute of respect to two brave men.
Since the above was written another local soldier has to be added A. P. Missen, who has bean reported killed in Action. A heavy toll for one week.

A Memorial Service in connection with death of Pte. L E. Norton has been postponed until middle of Nov.

Melton Express
Saturday 2 November 1918, P 2

Melton will honor her soldiers at a social this Saturday evening, in the Mechanics' Institute. All returned men and preset volunteers cordially invited to attend, in uniform.

A public meeting is called by Shire President Holden for Saturday evening next, 9th inst., at 8 o'clock, in the Shire hall, for the purpose of arranging a public welcome to the returning local Anzacs.

Memorial Service in connection with death of Pte. L. E. Norton has been postponed until middle of Nov.

Melton Express
Saturday 2 November 1918 p 2
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 2 November 1918 p 2

On Active Service.
NORTON.- Officially reported killed in Action, September 30, Private Lewis Everett Norton, C Company, 29th Batt., dearly beloved eldest son of Mrs. L. Norton, Melton, and Mr. F. Norton, Parwan, brother of Bert, Sylvia, Ivy, Sam, and Roy, devoted mate of the late Pte. J. M. Kenneally (killed 11th August, 1916).
Comrades in arms, united in death.


Australian War Memorial
Service Record
Newspaper accounts / letters
Red Cross Record
Nominal Roll
Embarkation Roll
Family sources