Lieutenant Colonel Noel Medway Loutit

Service number 2620, VX102781
Ranks Held Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Second Lieutenant, Brigadier
Birth Date 08 March 1894
Birth Place Australia: South Australia
Death Date 09 August 1983
Final Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Place South Australia
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-01
Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-21
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-11
Published in London Gazette in 1917-12-28
Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-04
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-04-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04
Description

Noel Medway Loutit was born at St. Peter’s, Adelaide on 8 March 1894 to Thomas Inkster and Laura Louisa (nee Thomson). He completed his initial schooling at Norwood Public School and subsequently commenced an engineering course at the School of Mines and Industries in 1908, which he discontinued in 1911 but completed in England after the Armistice. Loutit spent three years as a senior cadet with the 78th Infantry Battalion before joining the Citizen Military Forces, where he received his first commission as a 2nd lieutenant with the aforementioned Battalion on 16 October 1913.

Loutit was working as an engineer when he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 18 September 1914. He received the rank of 2nd lieutenant and was posted to ‘G’ Company with the 10th Battalion at Morphettville, where he completed basic training. He embarked from Outer Harbour, Adelaide, aboard HMAT Ascanius on 20 October 1914, and disembarked at Alexandria on 6 December 1914. The 10th Battalion entrained to Mena Camp, where Loutit was appointed platoon commander of ‘D’ Company and promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 1 February 1915.

Loutit was amongst the 10th Battalion that landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and later that day, led a party of 32 men with instructions to move inland ‘as fast as you can, at all costs keep going, you are the covering force’. At a position near Gun Ridge, Loutit and two men continued forward and reportedly penetrated further inland than all but a few members of the AIF during the entire campaign on the Peninsula. When he returned to the Battalion four days later, he found only 11 of the 32 men in his group survived the foray. In a letter to a friend written three weeks later, Loutit remarked ‘I ought to be dead a dozen times’.

Loutit was promoted to the rank of temporary captain on 9 November 1915, and left Gallipoli with the 10th Battalion 12 days later. The unit eventually disembarked at Alexandria on 29 December 1915 and entrained for Tel el Kebir. Loutit subsequently experienced a succession of changes in Egypt. He was briefly attached to the 3rd Infantry Brigade as grenade officer during mid-January 1916 and accompanied two companies to Gebel Habieta shortly after, where he was promoted to the rank of captain on 20 February 1916. A week later Loutit was transferred to the 50th Battalion and then appointed adjunct to the same Battalion on 1 March 1916.

Loutit departed Alexandria with the 50th Battalion on 5 June 1916 and disembarked at Marseilles a week later. His subsequent service in France, Belgium and England was rendered with marked distinction and resulted in a continued rise through the ranks. He was promoted to major on 28 October 1916, appointed to command the 13th Training Battalion a year later, and loaned to the American Expeditionary Forces in an advisory capacity from May to September 1918. At the age of 24, Loutit was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel and appointed commanding officer of the 45th Battalion on 2 September 1918. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest shortly after but returned to his Battalion on 1 December 1918 with the rank of lieutenant colonel confirmed.

Loutit was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) (gazetted 4 June 1917) and Bar to the DSO (gazetted 21 June 1917). The fact that both of these awards were issued within weeks of one another was a rare feat during the First World War. Furthermore, Loutit was Mentioned in Despatches on three occasions in recognition of his distinguished services. He was mobilised for return to Australia on 2 May 1919, embarked from England aboard SS Raranga on 8 September 1919, and disembarked at Outer Harbour, Adelaide, on 25 October 1919. Loutit was discharged from the AIF on 9 January 1920.

Loutit married Stella Matilda Ponder at St. John’s Church, Adelaide, on 13 November 1920. He commenced an executive career in the private sector but remained on the reserve officers’ list. Loutit volunteered for militia service in 1927, and was subsequently appointed to command the 27th Battalion of the South Australian Regiment, a position he held for three years. He moved to Melbourne in March 1936 after accepting a position with the Shell Oil Company, but returned to the military once more when he enlisted with the Citizen Military Forces on 29 August 1940.

Loutit was appointed to command the Darwin Overland Maintenance Force and assigned to Alice Springs in October 1940. He was transferred to the AIF on 25 July 1942, given responsibility for the organisation and control of the Central Australian Transport Column and promoted temporary brigadier a week later. After accomplishing his duties in ‘exemplary fashion’, Loutit was awarded the Australia Efficiency Medal on 18 September 1944, and appointed Director of Movement and Transportation in December of the same year. He completed his service in Alice Springs with the rank of honorary brigadier.

Noel Medway Loutit died at Lynton, South Australia, on 9 August 1983.

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    45th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Second Lieutenant
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    01 June 1917 on page 5422 at position 123
    Commonwealth Gazette
    04 October 1917 on page 2624 at position 135
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lieutenant Colonel
    London Gazette
    11 July 1919 on page 8832 at position 65
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 October 1919 on page 1660 at position 4
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    04 June 1917 on page 5475 at position 30
    Commonwealth Gazette
    04 October 1917 on page 2626 at position 46
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    50th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    28 December 1917 on page 13566 at position 49
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 843 at position 124
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    45th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Second Lieutenant
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    13th Australian Training Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Second Lieutenant

Timeline

Date of birth 08 March 1894
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 18 September 1914 Appointed second lieutenant in the 10th Battalion.
Date of embarkation 20 October 1914
Date promoted 01 February 1915 Appointed lieutenant.
Date promoted 09 November 1915 Appointed temporary captain.
Other units 1916-01-19 - 1916-02-26 Grenade officer attached to 3rd Infantry Brigade Headquarters.
Date promoted 20 February 1916 Appointed captain.
Other units 1916-02-26 - 1916-03-01 50th Battalion.
Other units 1916-03-01 - 1917-08-20 Adjutant, 50th Battalion.
Date promoted 28 October 1916 Appointed major.
Date of recommendation honour or award 02 March 1917
Date of recommendation honour or award 10 April 1917
Date of honour or award 01 June 1917 Mention in Despatches.
Date of honour or award 04 June 1917 Distinguished Service Order.
Date of honour or award 18 June 1917 Bar to Distinguished Service Order.
Other units 1917-08-20 - 1917-10-29 Temporary Commanding Officer of 51st Battalion.
Other units 1917-10-29 - 1918-05-09 Commanding Officer of 13th Training Battalion.
Date of honour or award 18 April 1918 Mention in Despatches.
Date of recommendation honour or award 08 May 1918
Other units 1918-05-09 - 1918-07-29 50th Battalion.
Other units 1918-07-29 - 1918-09-02 Attached to 3 Squadron, AFC for liaison course.
Date promoted 02 September 1918 Appointed temporary lieutenant colonel.
Other units 02 September 1918 Commanding Offier, 45th Battalion.
Date of recommendation honour or award 06 October 1918
Date of recommendation honour or award 08 October 1918
Date promoted 01 December 1918 Appointed lieutenant colonel.
Date of recommendation honour or award 30 January 1919
Date of honour or award 11 July 1919 Mention in Despatches.
Other 09 January 1920 AIF appointment terminated.
Date of death 09 August 1983