Laid to rest at the Field of Honour


Born: 8th June 1882, Waipu, Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand.

Died: 1st June 1917; age: 34; Died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the Sanatorium at Ipswich, Suffolk. Served 1 year & 335 days.

Occupation: Bushman/Farmer.

Enlistment Details: Location: Whangarura, Auckland Province; Date: 2nd July 1915; age: 33 years; Religion: Protestant. Signed up for Duration of War. Height: 5ft 9 1/2ins, dark complexion, hazel eyes & dark brown hair. First born New Zealander. Recruit is a good man in every sense, well qualified, and when drilled would make an excellent non com; as both his education and intelligence are much above the average.

Disembarked – Suez – 20th December 1915

Posted to Mouscar and approved temporary Lance Corporal – 9th March 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal – 19th March 1916

Promoted to Corporal 14th May 1916 – Armentieres, France.

Sickness: On the 23rd December 1916, Norman was admitted to No. 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station suffering from pleurisy of the right side. On the 1st January 1917, admitted to No.2 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Outreau. Here he contracted Measles, and was transferred on the 29th January to No. 14 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne. Embarked for England on the 14th February, on board H.M.H.S. ‘St Denis’  and admitted to No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital, Walton-on-Thames on the 15th February 1917. Admitted to the Sanatorium at Ipswich on the 18th April.

Norman was first diagnosed with Pleurisy with effusion, at Estaires, France in December 1916. Norman had had Pleurisy 7 years ago, the old condition had awakened by Active Service. Former weight 12 stone present weight 9 stone. Discharged as permanently unfit on the 3rd April 1917, recommended returned to New Zealand.

No T.B. was found on repeated examinations.


Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 12/3233.

Regiment: New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Auckland Regiment, 2nd Battalion.


Buried on Wednesday morning,  6th June 1917.

Grave Reference:


Ipswich Old Cemetery,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John & Mary Durham, of Waipu, New Zealand.


Father John Durham, born 1843, Foston on the Wolds, East Riding of Yorkshire – died March 1917, Waipu, Whangarei, Northland. A Bushman/Farmer.

Mother: Mary Durham (nee McLennan), born 1848, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.


On the 10th October 1921, Mary Durham received her late son’s British War medal. On the 17th February 1922, the family received the plaque & scroll. The Victory medal was received on the 22nd August 1922.

Norman’s brother also lost his life in the First World War. Donald Durham, born 8th October 1888, Waipu, was KiA at the Battle of Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli Campaign, on the 8th August 1915. Donald was ranked Lance Corporal, serial number 13/179, of the 4th Battalion of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F. His final resting place was unknown and Donald is remembered on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Turkey (including Gallipoli).

Norman & Donald’s nephew, Donald Durham lost his life in the Second World War. On the 30th January 1943, on air operations ‘Emden.’ Aircraft: Wellington X, serial number: HE471. Donald was aged 26 (born 9th March 1916, at Waipu), and ranked Navigator, service number NZ413702 for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 466 Squadron (R.A.A.F.). Donald’s body never washed ashore and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 199. His mother would have been pregnant when her brother-in-law Donald was killed in 1915.

Extra information and help courtesy of Dennis Kerins Trustee and Researcher, NZ War Graves Trust

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1917

1917 Chronicle newspaper UK:


The funeral took place on Wednesday morning, in the Field of Honour at Ipswich Cemetery, of Corporal Norman Durham, New Zealand Infantry, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, who died in the Ipswich Sanatorium, Foxhall Road, on Friday, as a result of lung trouble. The deceased, whose home was at Waipu, North Auckland, New Zealand, was 36years of age, and leaves a widow and two children to mourn their loss. He saw service in Egypt, The Dardanelles, and in France, and whilst on service he contracted tuberculosis. He arrived at the Ipswich Sanatorium about six weeks ago, and though whilst in residence there he received every possible attention from the medical and nursing staffs, his complaint was too far advanced, and he passed away as already stated. As was becoming in the case of such a brave soldier, he was accorded full military honours at the funeral, the remains enclosed in a polished elm coffin with brass fittings, the breastplate bearing the inscription: “Corpl. Norman Durham: died June 1st, 1917, aged 36,” being borne to the cemetery on a six-horse gun-carriage, kindly lent by Col. Lyon, from B. Battery, 353rd Brigade, R.F.A., 72nd Division, under the charge of Sergt. Johnson, whilst there was also in attendance a bearer party, with firing party and buglers from the Northumberland Fusiliers, under Lieut. J. T. Llewellyn. Nine of the deceased’s comrades were present as mourners, four of whom:- acted as pallbearers. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. J. Powell, rector of St. Clement’s, Ipswich. At the conclusion of the committal service the usual three volleys were fired over the grave, after which the buglers sound the “Last Post.”

Floral tributes were sent by the High Commissioner of New Zealand, his New Zealand comrades, the Steward and Nurses at Ipswich Sanatorium, the patients at Ipswich Sanatorium, F.W. Ransome, “on behalf of those who love him at home”; and the Ipswich Women’s Guild.


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