Norman Dunstan Rae

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RAE, Norman Dunstan

Service no: 18 [1]

Place of birth: Forbes, 1889

Address: Glenroi, Bathurst Road Orange

Occupation: Bank clerk

Next of kin: William Allwood Rae (father), Glenroi, Bathurst Road Orange

Date of enlistment: 9 October 1914

Place of enlistment: Liverpool

Age at enlistment: 25

Fate: Posted as trooper to 7th Light Horse Regiment 9 October 1914. Promoted to Orderly Room Corporal 20 October 1914. Embarked HMAT A33 Ayrshire, Sydney, 20 December 1914. Promoted to Orderly Room Sergeant 21 December 1914. Hospitalised 26 May 1915. Returned to duty, Gallipoli, 29 May 1915. Admitted to hospital ship Guildford Castle suffering from influenza and dysentry 20 September 1915. Transferred to 21st General Hospital, Alexandria suffering from enteric fever, 29 September 1915. Transferred to Port Said Convalescent Camp 10 November 1915. Embarked HMAT Wandilla, Suez, for return to Australia 13 December 1915. Discharged from AIF 22 March 1916.

Date of death: 26 November 1953, aged 64, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney

Buried: Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, North Ryde

Norman Dunstan Rae was born in Forbes in 1889 to William Allwood Rae and Florence Johnson. His brothers William John Rae and George Huntley Rae saw service in the Camel Corps during WWI. Captain William John Rae was killed in action in 1917. His family later moved Forbes to Glenroi, Bathurst Road Orange when his father took up a position as a surveyor in the area.

At the time of enlistment Norman Rae had worked for three years as a teller with the Australian Bank of Commerce. He was farewelled by friends and fellow workers at the Club House Hotel at Coonabarabran, all of whom spoke highly of his gentlemanly manner and his ability as a good footballer and rower.

Norman enlisted at Liverpool on 9 October 1914 was posted to the 7th Light Horse Regiment. He was promoted to Orderly Room Corporal on 20 October 1914.

On 20 December 1914 Norman, along with other volunteer Australian troops, embarked on the HMAT Ayrshire at Sydney. In December of 1914 he was promoted to Orderly Room Sergeant. He was hospitalised in Alexandria, Egypt, on 26 May 1915 and then returned to duty at Gallipoli on 29 May 1915.

After four months in the trenches illness struck again. Sergeant Rae was admitted to the hospital ship Guildford Castle on 20 September 1915 suffering from influenza and dysentery. On 29 September he was transferred to the 21st General Hospital at Alexandria suffering from enteric fever. He embarked HMAT Wandilla at Suez and returned to Australia on 13 December 1915.

Sergeant Rae was discharged from the AIF on 22 March 1916 and accorded a hero’s welcome on his arrival at Orange Railway Station. [2]

In 1910 Norman married Ruby Jean Lennox in Bourke. This marriage ended in divorce in 1916, and he married Jessie Winifred Hill in Grenfell in 1919. Two sons, Robin and David, came from this union.

In 1930 Norman and Jessie moved from West Wyalong to Sydney and at the time of Norman's death in 1953 they lived at Dee Why. The cause of death was attributed to his war service and Jessie was given a suitable pension. His ashes were interred in the Northern Suburbs Memorial Garden at North Ryde.

Norman Dunstan Rae is remembered on the Honour Roll at Holy Trinity Church Orange.

  • Sharon Jameson, August 2018
Norman Dunstan Rae memorial plaque. Image courtesy Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens, North Ryde.
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