BIRNIE, Norman Eric Stewart (1892-1920)

Modified on Sun, 10 Mar 2019 12:32 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - World War I

BIRNIE, Dr Norman Eric Stewart (1892-1920)

Born at Camberwell on 20 March 1892 he was the son of Norman Birnie and Barbara nee Irving. His address at enrolment was Laurel Bank Parade, Geelong. He was educated as a day student at Geelong College from 1905 to 1911 and was a member of the Geelong College Cadets. He was also a member of the 1st Football XVIII in 1910 and 1911, the 1st Rowing VIII in 1911, the Athletics Team in 1911, and a School Prefect in 1911.

He was awarded the following academic prizes:
1905, 1st, French, 2nd Form.
1906, 2nd, Geometry, Middle 4th Form.
1906, 2nd, French, 3rd Form.
1907, 2nd, Arithmetic, Upper 4th Form.
1908, 1st, Algebra, 5th Form B.
1908, 1st Geometry, 5th Form B.

He studied three years of Medicine before enlisting (No. 3155) as a Private, on 8 February 1915. He sailed for Egypt on 4 June 1915 on HMAT A31 Ajana, and was posted to the Gallipoli Peninsula on 30 August, where he served in C Section, 6 Field Ambulance with the Australian Army Medical Corps. He was admitted to hospital in November 1915. After the Evacuation from the Gallipoli Peninsula he was recalled to complete his medical course, embarking on HMT Argyllshire on 3 March 1916, as reported in Pegasus of May 1916.
'T G Wynne, N E S Birnie and G F Cherry, after having seen service in the Field Ambulance Corps at Anzac, have returned to Melbourne to complete their medical course.'

He re-enlisted in June 1918 but was not called up for service. He graduated in 1919 but died shortly after completing his course, on 10 October 1920 from a condition attributed to his war service.

He is listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs with service but not as a World War I caused death.

His brothers, George Alexander Birnie (1889-1979), Robert Kenneth Birnie (1890-1956) and John Irving Birnie (1896-1954), also attended Geelong College.

Sources: 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War' compiled by J. Affleck pp140-1 (citing The University of Melbourne: Record of Active Service of Teachers, Graduates, Undergraduates, Officers and Servants (1926); Pegasus; The National Archives, Kew, England).