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Norman Durant


Lieutenant Norman Durant - Killed in action 12th March 1916 - Gloucestershire Regiment 1st Battalion Killed near Loos while supervising digging parties.

Lieutenant Norman Durant National Archives Reference WO339/22122

Killed in action 12th March 1916

Next of Kin: Reverend William Friend Durant South Woodland Road Tyndall's Park Bristol

The military secretary presents his compliments to the Rev. W.F. Durant and begs to inform him that a report has just been received from Army H.Q. in the field which states that the late Lieutenant N. Durant, Gloucestershire Regiment, was buried in Maroc Cemetery, about 3 miles from Vermelles. Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy.

Will: Died intestate - a bachelor.

Grantees: William Friend Durant: Normal and lawful father and next of kin.

Value: Gross: 337.2.7

Bristol Evening News. Obituary March 18th 1916

Lieutenant N. Durant, eldest of three brothers, W M Durant and Maurice Durant.

Much sympathy will be felt with the Reverend W F and Mrs Durant of 6, Woodland Road, Tyndall's Park, who have received a telegram announcing that their third son, Lieutenant Norman Durant (1st Gloucesters) was killed in action on Monday. He was 32 years of age and a fine type of young manhood, standing six feet two inches, his twin brother, Maurice, also over six feet in height. All three sons have been fighting for their country.

Norman, who has sacrificed his life in trying to save others, was a Clifton College Cadet.

Mr Durant received letters from his Colonel, Captain and another officer. Colonel Pagan wrote: "Lieutenant Norman Durant was badly wounded about 7.30 p.m. on the night of March 12th and died almost immediately after reaching the dressing station.

About 20 of our men had been buried in an old mine which was used as a dugout and we were trying to get them out. I left the place as soon as it got dark to see to other things and your son took over from me.. He was working in an entirely exposed position, and was hit by high-explosive shrapnel which the Germans were continually exploding over the place. Your son was always absolutely fearless, and did his duty thoroughly. I sent his name in for gallant behavior on October 8th last year during the German attack..

You have the sympathy of all your son's comrades in your great loss.

You will be glad to know that your son's death was not in vain as we succeeded in getting the buried men out at about 6.30 a.m. on the next morning and they were all alive except three.

Captain K. R. Smith, in the course of his letter, states that the death of your son is deeply lamented

Lieutenant G E C Havey: "Together in 'C' Company since June. He was a gentleman and a soldier. Not a braver man to be found.

I am an old soldier of twenty years standing. Got my commission through the ranks and through the whole of my service I have never known a braver man." (Brothers survived the War, I think)

The 1947 Clifton College Register for May 1907 says

6630 Durant, Norman; b.29.4.93.; br. 6629; NT; 3b-5y; L1911; Bristol Univ.; Business; 1914 War, Capt., Glos Regt.; k.(action), 1916.

The 1912 Clifton College Register adds the son of Rev.W.F.Durent, Clifton and the address 82 Pembroke Road, Clifton.

He joined Clifton RFC in 1911-12.

Above Norman Durant from the 1913-14 Clifton 1st Xv photo.

His twin brother, Maurice, also played for Clifton RFC and is featured in the 1911-12, 1912-13, 1919-20 Clifton 1st XV photo.

Above 82 Pembroke Road, Clifton, 1912 home of Norman Durant.

His name on the Clifton College Memorial Arch.

Above the Clifton College Memorial arch at the entrance to Clifton College in 2008.