Topic: Norman Henry Packham

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Norman Henry Packham (Service no. 63038) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton and Burwood

Norman Packham. Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1918. AWMNorman Henry Packham was born in Christchurch on 25th March 1882, the third of seven children, two of whom died as infants. He lived with his parents, Henry and Annie (who had both come across from England), at 113 Pages Rd, New Brighton, and went to  New Brighton School, where he won prizes for his work in Std. 3 and Std. 6.

He became a gardener, like his father, working for Kerr and Barnett’s Nursery just before he left for war. He was of medium height, with black hair and brown eyes, and had a tattoo on his upper left arm.

He enlisted in the army on 16th July 1917, and, as part of the 32nd Reinforcements, paraded at King Edward Barracks, then marched through the streets of Christchurch, which were ‘lined with well-wishers’, and on to Christchurch Railway Station.

After training, he left New Zealand, from Wellington, on 21st November, heading on a ship via Panama to England, where they did some more training at Sling Camp. They headed across to France late March 1918, where he spent a short time in the New Zealand camp at Étaples, before heading out into the field with the Otago Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion. He would have been helping to stem the German advance in the Somme sector.

Mid-June, he did two weeks training with the Lewis Gun, returning to the field on 28th June.

He was wounded on 25th August, 1918, and admitted to the No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station, but died the next day. He was 26 when he died.  He is memorialised on his family grave Block 36 Plot 195 in Linwood Cemtery, Christchurch.

He is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France.
His name is on the Burwood War Memorial.
He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

 

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References

 Image:  Norman Packham. Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1918.  Auckland War Memorial Museum

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Norman Henry Packham


First Names:Norman Henry
Last Name:Packham
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand