THIS week’s image, of Company Sgt-Major Norman John Dulhunty, was taken more than 100 years ago.
It will appear in the Snapshots of World War One and military service Wall of Valour photographic exhibition in the Walshaw Hall, beside All Saints’ Cathedral, opposite Kings Parade, as part of the Remembrance Weekend on November 10-11.
There will be some 300 photographs on display to mark the end of the Great War a century ago. Along with these images will be several displays of servicemen’s wartime memorabilia, campaign medals, tank diorama, German mementos, French silk postcards, and a Blair Anderson Wark, VC (recipient of the Victoria Cross) display. Many of the 300 photos have never been on display before. Entry to the exhibition will be free and it will be open both days.
Norman volunteered to serve in World War One and, by June 16, 1915, when he was 22, he had arrived by train at Liverpool Camp in Sydney. He listed his father Herbert Dulhunty of “Boomerang”, Mount Rankin as next of kin. He was assigned to Captain C.E. Cooke, 3rd Reinforcements for 17th Battalion.
He boarded HMAT A54 Runic on August 9, 1915 to proceed to Alexandria in the Middle East. All the time he was on board he did not sleep below.
Training continued after he arrived. Some leave was granted to visit the pyramids. “They are of marvellous construction, built of flags of stone, some of which are about eight feet square, and how they were placed in position is a mystery,” Norman said.
He said the men were digging trenches and bayonet fighting, and were expecting rifle practice later on.
Norman was posted to A Company on Gallipoli where he joined the 17th Battalion on December 8, 1915, only to be taken off again on December 24, 1915, during the evacuation.
Norman was transferred to B Company Lewis Gun Section on March 9, 1916 before embarking in Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force troops in France eight days later, disembarking in Marseille in France. By September, he was in Belgium.
On November 11, 1916, Norman was hospitalised in France with trench feet, returning to the front on Christmas Eve. He was promoted to corporal on February 8, 1917 and was later hospitalised with scabies. The treatment was for nurses to apply an insecticide sulphur ointment over his body to kill any itch mites and their larvae.
On August 5, 1917, he was instructed to proceed to the 5th Training Battalion at Rollestone in England, which was No. 2 Group for the 2nd Division, encompassing the 5th, 6th, and 7th Training Battalions. Norman had been promoted to sergeant.
By October 5, 1917, he was attending an army course in physical and bayonet instruction. He qualified “Very Fair”. Norman did more courses and had leave before reporting to Dover on April 1, 1918 to be shipped to France on the Fovant to rejoin his battalion, arriving in Beaumaris on April 5, 1918.
Norman was “killed in action” on Saturday, August 31, 1918, just weeks after being promoted to Warrant Officer, Second Class (Company Sergeant Major) on July 21, 1918. A cable was sent from London to Norman’s father on September 12, 1918 to inform him that his son had been killed.
Norman was buried in an isolated grave, three quarters of a mile west of Feuilleres. In August 1919, his father was told Norman was to be reinterred to Hem Farm Military Cemetery, on the Somme in France, the work being done in the presence of a chaplain with the greatest of care and reverence. By the following month, the work had been completed.
The Orange Leader newspaper reported on September 23, 1918 that Mr H. Dulhunty had lost his son and that another son, Hubert, aged 28, was with the forces, and was, according to Mr Dulhunty, “still going strong”.