Heathcote, Norman Cartmell (Lieutenant, b.1887 - d.1973)

Accession Number PR02015
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Overall: 24 x 36 x 2.5 cm (2 wallets)
Object type Letters
Maker Heathcote, Norman Cartmell
Place made Egypt, France, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1915-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the First World War service of 3792 Lieutenant Norman Cartmell Heathcote, 5 Machine Gun Battalion, Australia, At sea, Egypt, France, England and Scotland, 22 June 1915 - 30 March 1919.

Wallet 1 of 2 - Contains handwritten letters from Heathcote to his family and handwritten copies of letters and postcards from Heathcote to his family, some of which are incomplete. The earliest-dated letters cover the period 22 July to 22 November 1915 - the day after his enlistment through to the day before his embarkation - reference domestic and school matters, the ramifications of enlisting on his family, training at various camps in Melbourne and his impending embarkation. The next series of letters penned between 20 December 1915 to 28 March 1916 detail his journey at sea, disembarkation in Egypt and training at various camps near Cairo including references to attending a school of instruction in machine gunnery, recreational activities, periods of leave and his impressions of people and places. The remaining letters in this wallet written during the period 30 March 1916 to 27 September 1916 cover Heathcote's embarkation to France, training with the 6th Infantry Battalion, attachment to the 59th Infantry Battalion and role as an instructor of machine gunnery courses at Etaples.

Wallet 2 of 2 - Contains handwritten letters from Heathcote to his family and handwritten copies of letters to his family, some of which are incomplete, in addition to several letters written by immediate and extended family. These letters cover the period 4 October 1916 to 30 March 1919 and largely relate to Heathcote's service on the Western Front with the 15th Machine Gun Company and 5th Machine Gun Battalion. Subjects discussed include training, promotion, moving to the front lines, cold weather and muddy conditions, taking precautions against trench foot, the prevalence of influenza or "dog disease", recreation and several periods of leave in France, England and Scotland. He describes day-to-day duties in considerable detail and offers observations of exploring no man's land, German troop movements and Allied operations including the Battle of Hamel. Correspondence from immediate and extended family include several letters from Heathcote's mother and a letter from relative Ted Holmes [10528 Sergeant Edward Selwyn Holmes] to Heathcote's brother Harold.