• Norman Alexander Greig Melville

Army / Flying Corps

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  • Birth

    Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Stories and comments
    • The Men of the 20th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Thursday, 22 July 2021

    Wyalong Advocate and Mining, Agricultural and Pastoral Gazette (NSW), Saturday 4 December 1915, page 2 Following are extracts from a letter from Private Norman Melville, to his parents, under date October 2nd:— "Tomorrow I will be on the peninsula just six weeks, or seven weeks from Egypt. It doesn't seem that long, as it has been remarkably interesting and everything is new and strange. Of a day, right till sundown, one would hardly think there was a war on here at all. Just this minute, by way of a scenic change, I have been watching one of our aeroplanes circling over the Turkish lines, dodging the shrapnel shells that they send up after it. It is a dangerous game for the aviator; but they always do it regardless of the shrapnel. The enemy cannot like his interferences, because they put plenty of shots in his direction, but their eye—or their luck—is always out. Sometimes there are three or four planes up at a time. Occasionally we get the German Taubes over our lines, but beyond dropping a few "eggs," and killing a couple of males, they do not do great damage. Other items of interest which interferes with the harmony of the peaceful day scenery are the artillery duels. It's great to watch the big shells bursting all around. Yesterday our artillery and the naval guns gave one positions hell. It was a grand sight to see. Of course we get some in return, but it does not do much damage. One big shell of theirs landed near some of our chaps' trenches, and it was pretty to see the huge lumps of earth and bags and sheets of iron flying skyward. At night it is just the reverse. Things are much warmer then. The old machine guns are the things to do the damage, and when we get among them there is always a scatter. I have accounted for a few, but have not had the luck to get my gun on to any big body of them—that is to come I hope." Writing on the 7th October, Private Melville says:—" I am pleased to hear that so many young chaps have seen their way clear to don the khaki. It is a grand reflection on the sincerity of little Wyalong, and the town will be that much prouder of itself when we get back in bigger bulk. With reference to Australia Day —we over here feel proud that we are Australians. I was speaking to a ' Tommy ' the other day. and he was amazed to think that in New South Wales they collected nearly half-a-million of money in one day. He said "You Australians are marvellous—you do just as you want to." There are many things that I have seen and done that I have not told you, because we are not allowed to put anything we like in our letters—that is in military matters. I could tell you of our operations, but the censor would not let it pass, so why write it all."