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Remembered Today:

michaeldr

Norman Leslie Steele

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michaeldr

Remembered today on the Great War Forum

 

AWM2016.587.29.JPG

 

The AWM's caption to this portrait reads as follows:

Studio portrait of 240 Private (Pte) (Air Mechanic) Norman Leslie Steele, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC) of Kew, Victoria. The youngest son of Philip John Bickett Steele and Johanna Albertina nee Ekman, Pte Steele was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps on 27 October 1916. 2nd Lt Norman Leslie Steele's Martinsyde aircraft crashed behind Turkish lines in Hareira, Palestine on 20 April 1917 and he was reported missing. A message dropped by enemy aircraft several months later stated that 2nd Lt Steele had been wounded by anti-aircraft fire and had died soon after capture as a prisoner of war. His service record states on 23 July 1918 that 2nd Lt Steele "was buried under a memorial erected at Hareira by the enemy to our airmen". His eldest brother, Captain Frederick Wilberforce Alexander (Fred) Steele, 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers was killed at the First Ypres Battle on 29 October, 1914. His second eldest brother, Lieutenant Phillip John Rupert (Rupert) Steele, 4th FAB died on 8 January 1917 of wounds sustained in France on 15 November the previous year. A third brother, Sergeant Henry Cyril Augustus (Cyril) Steele, 4th FAB, had been discharged for urgent family reasons after the death of his brothers Fred and Phillip (Rupert) and was on his way home from England at the time Norman was killed.

 

 

From the CWGC

 

STEELE, NORMAN LESLIE

Initials: N L

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Flying Corps

Unit Text: 1st Sqdn

Age: 21

Date of Death: 20/04/1917

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of 195, Swanston St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 60

Memorial: JERUSALEM MEMORIAL

From a local newspaper, The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria) Saturday 5 May 1917

"MISSING – Flight-Lieutenant Norman Leslie Steele is officially reported 'missing' since April 20. He was vice-captain of Melbourne Grammar School*, captain of football and cricket, and captain of Ruslen (? - illegible) House. He is a brother of the late Captain Fred Steele, of the Royal Fusiliers, who was killed in action; Lieutenant Rupert Steele who died of wounds; and Corporal Cyril Steele who is returning to Australia."

*Over 200 Melbourne Grammar School old boys fell in the Great War

 

Norman Leslie's brothers were:

 

Name: STEELE, FREDERICK WILBERFORCE

Initials: F W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Royal Fusiliers

Unit Text: 4th Bn

Age: 29

Date of Death: between 25/10/1914 and 27/10/1914

Awards: Twice Mentioned in Despatches

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of Grange Rd., Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His brothers Philip John Rupert and Norman Leslie also fell

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 6

Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

 

and

 

Name: STEELE, PHILIP JOHN RUPERT

Initials: P J R

Nationality: Australian

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Australian Field Artillery

Unit Text: 4th Bde

Age: 27

Date of Death: 08/01/1917

Additional information: Son of Philip John and Johanna Albertina Steele, of 195, Swanston St., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Officers, B. 3. 32

Cemetery: ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN

 

This very unusual memorial, currently to be seen in Beersheva CWGC Cemetery, which commemorates Lieutenant Steele and eight other airmen,

was originally “generously erected to one of them by their enemies”

 

5999bfec6332c_Beershevasairmen.jpg.1b8f3

 

post-73462-0-25224400-1308333050.jpg

 

 

5a5df10ed2729_BeershevaAirmenMemorial0001.jpg.7f6f6c9ab61446cae1db72ac6b4d6557.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

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fetubi

Thank you for posting this.

 

He went to the same School I went to, in Melbourne.  It would be "Rusden House"

 

Something like 106 ex-students of Melbourne Grammar would serve in the air forces in WW1, in the RFC, RAF, RNAS and AFC.  I've always found this a remarkable number, given they were all young men, of course.

 

This one had traveled a long, long way from home, to die this day, a hundred years ago, with such honour.

 

Rest in Peace Norman. 

 

Trevor Henshaw

 

 

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michaeldr

Trevor

A fascinating connection – did his brothers also attend the same school?

…................................................................................................................

The Anzac Day service at Mnt. Scopus CWGC cemetery Jerusalem today also allows me to add photographs of Steele's memorial there.

It is on the southern face of the Australian Memorial Pylon

58ff4587cd579_P1060435enhcrop.jpg.9b18b292f58b5f067a4e059f56ed4e5e.jpg

 

 

58ff45b957e28_P1060433enhcrop.thumb.jpg.4f88caa90884d7f77626a85a1d2ef209.jpg

 

 

58ff45d83cd46_P1060434enhcrop.jpg.3324e05903a7ad2b4649c4cbe0900733.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

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V.A.D.S.1988

Norman Leslie Steele and all his brothers went to Melbourne Grammar.Norman was the first Captain of Rusden House. Norman was as his brothers where outstanding sportsmen at Melbourne Grammar.The Wilderness as it was known was transformed into " The Steele " a gift from their mother and surviving brother and my Great Grand Father Cyril Steele. "The Steele" was dedicated to the sacrifice they made so future generations could live in freedom and peace. After major work constructing, an underground carpark and being resurfaced the " The Steele " was rededicated by my father as he as my grandfather all attended the school. Being a girl I did not attend Melbourne Grammar but followed the family tradition of being a Rower in my final 4 years at School.The first episode of our World War is about my Great Great Uncle Fred Steele and the Royal Fusiliers in Belgium in the first 6 weeks of "The War " In September 1914. What I am commenting about is not entirely relevant to this arena but what I wanted to say this "  that I am proud to be related to these three men also my Great Grandfather and Grandfather all who participated in both Wars.I spent a lot of time with my Grandfather and listened to the experiences of War and will pass it on to my children as I made a promise to him I would.

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fetubi

I played many a happy game of cricket on the Steele Memorial Ground - yet I had no idea.  Thank you so much for bringing this vivid connection between this brave man and my youthful, happy days at sport on his field to mind.  That was a wonderful memorial to create.

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michaeldr

VADS

Many thanks for adding those details

................................................................

 

I am please to have restored most of the photographs which had gone missing from the opening post above

and to add the report below which is to be found on p.12 of the Australian Red Cross file on this missing airman https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1478504

5a5df8d10aa74_ReportofSteelssdeath.thumb.jpg.7124072718e5d712eda98aa702b77e9e.jpg

 

Edited by michaeldr

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