Topic: Norman Douglas Muff

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Norman Douglas Muff (Service no. 24/849) was a First World War soldier with links to Burwood

Norman Muff came to New Zealand as a young man in the early 1900's from Yorkshire, England. He was born on 31 December 1892 to Sarah and Arthur Muff. His siblings were Margaret (1880), Sam (1881), Louisa (1883), Ida (1887), and Alfred (1895).

Before enlisting, Norman was farming along with other family at Orari, South Canterbury.

His physical desciption on his war record describes him as being 5ft, 6in tall, weighing 142lbs, with grey eyes, dark hair, and a fair complexion.

After enlisting as a Rifleman at Trentham, Norman, 24/849 embarked to Egypt in 1915. he was engaged in desert fighting (1915 - 16) against the Seussi. From there he went to the Western Front with the 2nd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, arriving in France in 1916. In September 1916 he received a gunshot  to the neck while in the field. He was treated at a field hospital and the transfered to England to Brockenhurst, WW1 New Zealand First General Hospital (1916 - 1919) for further treatment. He survived his wounds and following treatment was sent to Hornchurch, a convalescent hospital. In early November 1916 he was then sent to Codford, a rehabilitation hospital where he spent the next ten months.

In September 1917 he was transfered to Sling, a training camp on Salisbury Plain where he spent eight weeks before being shipped out to France to re-join his unit in the field. He arrived on 31 December 1917, his 25th Birthday. Four days later (4 January 1918) he was killed in action in Belgium. He is buried at Buttes, New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood, Belgium.

His brothers Sam and Alfred, also farmers, both served in World War One and both returned safely.

Norman is remembered on the Memorial Wall, Timaru; Geraldine Church Memorial; Levin War Memorial; Wairoa Peace Gates;, Foxton Memorial; Foxton School; and Burwood War Memorial.

Norman's connections to the Burwood area have yet to be discovered but we do know that the Chairman of the Burwood War Memorial Committee, Mr Rowe wrote to the Muff family asking them if they had someones name they would like to see added to the memorial. They wrote back asking if they could put their brother's name, Norman Douglas Muff on it.

Medals Norman were awarded included the 1914 - 15 Star, British War medal, and the Victory Medal.

On 17 January 1918 the Horowhenua Chronicle wrote a piece in their Roll of Honour column about Norman. In it they wrote that "he was a young man of sterling character, a favourite with all his acquaintances"


Related resources

  • Online cenotaph record for Norman Muff. Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Norman Muff's military personnel file. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
  • Roll of Honour. Horowhenua Chronicle , 17 January 1918, Page 2

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Norman Douglas Muff

First Names:Norman Douglas
Last Name:Muff
Place of Birth:Yorkshire, England