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MILNE, Norman Frederick (1926-1998)

MILNE, Norman Frederick (1926-1998)

Norman Frederick Milne was born on 29 December 1926 at Flemington, younger son of Frederick W Milne (1890-1965) and Aimee Isobel nee Scobie (1895-1936).

Norman was enrolled as a day Student at Geelong College from 13 February 1935 to December 1940. He had previously attended Flinders State School, Geelong and his address at enrolment was 6 Manning St, Bareena (Newtown). The College enrolment Register records his birthdate as 27 December however his World War II papers and the Port Stephens burial index cite his birthdate as 29 December 1926. In 1940, he won the E R Sparrow Cup, awarded as a total points score in four events at the College Sports in Under 14 events.

During World War II, Norman enlisted (No. PM7908) as an Able Seaman in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 9 January 1945, and served at HMAS Melville, the shore-based Naval Depot in Darwin from June until December 1945. He then served on 'Chinampat' , a motor vessel, until it was decommissioned in January 1946. He was discharged from HMAS Cerberus on 18 November 1946.

Norman died on 26 July 1998 in New South Wales, age 71 years, and was interred at Port Stephens, NSW.

His brother, George Alfred Charles Milne (1916-1997), a notable cricketer and hotel manager, was also educated at Geelong College.

Norman's father, Frederick W Milne, was a Detective Constable with the Geelong Police when his home at 6 Manning St, Newtown was destroyed by two bomb blasts on 13 July 1936. Norman and his sister, Chloris, were asleep in the house at the time of the attack. Norman's mother, Aimee Isobel Scobie, was killed.

The Canberra Times newspaper graphically described the attack. ' Mrs Amy Isabella Milne (sic), 40 was blown to pieces by two bombs which were thrown through a window at her home in Manning St, Newtown, Geelong, ... . Her husband, Plainclothes Constable Frederick W Milne was seriously injured, but the couple's two children, Clarice, aged 14, and Norman, 8 were not injured. The only possible motive for the ghastly crime, according to the police, is malice by the criminal element against Milne. Mrs Milne was killed instantly, her mutilated body being hurled by some miraculous force through a window into the street. Her husband felt himseld being hurled against the ceiling and he attributed his escape to the fact that the bedclothes were protecting his body. A section of the house collapsed and when neighbours arrived in a few seconds they saw Milne crawling from the ruins followed by his two children. Milne was rushed to hospital in a serious condition suffering from shock and abrasions, but the two children recovered after treatment. They owed their lives to the fact that they were not occupying their usual room besode that of their parents, but were in another room on the other side of the hall. This section of the house escaped the full blast of the explosion. ...

Milne, who is 47 years of age, has been engaged with other police in special work at Fitzroy, and recently, numerous threats have been made against his life. ... Milne was formerly a detective of the CIB but, following a departmental enquiry in 1933 was reduced to the rank of senior constable and transferred to Geelong. ... Mrs Milne was a sister of George Scobie, atrainer, and a niece of James Scobie, weel-known trainer.'

Frederick Milne retired from the police with the rank of Detective Sergeant in January 1950.

Sources: Canberra Times 14 July 1936 p1; The Argus (Melb) 22 July 1950 p26; Geelong Advertiser 21 November 2015; ‘Geelong Collegians at the Second World War and other Conflicts’ compiled by J Affleck p384 (citing Pegasus; Australian War Memorial; National Archives).
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