DoB: March 9 1890
Regt: Private 8/2092 3rd Otago New Zealand Expeditionary Force
DoD: October 12 1917
Academic Career:CGS 1904-5
George was the eldest of five sons born to Thomas and Jane Norman. The Norman family had been farming at Bow, near Great Orton for generations. He attended the grammar school for two years (1904-5) and then worked on the family farm. His mother had died in 1900 leaving his father with five sons under ten. His father remarried in 1908. His new wife was thirty years his junior and three daughters soon joined the family.
He attended CGS from 1904-5
George travelled to New Zealand in 1912 and after war broke out he joined the 3rd Otago Regt. New Zealand Expeditionary Force and died in the First Battle of Passchendaele on Oct 12 1917.
“The First Battle of Passchendaele, on 12 October 1917 began with a further Allied attempt by 5 British and 3 ANZAC divisions (the New Zealand Divisionand the Australian 3rd and 4th Divisions) to gain ground around Poelcappelle. The heavy rain again made movement difficult and artillery could not be brought closer to the front owing to the mud. The Allied troops were fought-out, and morale was suffering. Against the well-prepared German defences, the gains were minimal and there were 13,000 Allied casualties.
On this day there were more than 2,700 New Zealand casualties, of which 45 officers and 800 men were either dead or lying mortally wounded between the lines. In terms of lives lost in a day, this remains the blackest day in New Zealand’s recorded history.” * Wikipedia
George was not the first member of his family to visit New Zealand. His father Thomas Blaylock Norman had been there in the mid 1880’s prior to his marriage to George’s mother in 1889. He had stayed there long enough to be listed on the electoral roll. So whether George was planning to make New Zealand his permanent home is not known. George’s brother Edward also served in WW1 with the New Zealand forces, he was a rifleman in B company of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, he survived the war.
George is also commemorated on the village war memorial in the churchyard at Great Orton. One of the other eight names is that of the Rector’s son Richard Parker Gilbanks, who also attended the Grammar School.
George’s second cousin Robert Mayson Calvert, is also commemorated on the CGS memorial. Both were the great grandsons of George and Elizabeth Blaylock. Another gt grandson of George and Elizabeth, Frank Ostell Blaylock Osborne, attended the grammar school 1916-7 and died in WW2 and is commemorated on the WW2 board in the Devonshire Hall.
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Hawkes Bay Electoral Roll 1885-6
1901 RG13 4872 10 11
1891 RG12 4294 11 9
1881 RG11 5163 10 14; RG11 5144 33 7
1871 RG10 5225 5 1; RG10 5204 36 7
1861 RG9 3924
1851 HO107 2431 207
1841 HO107 165 14; HO107 164 16