Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Norman Howard Pawley

In memory of
Lieutenant
Norman Howard Pawley
April 12, 1917
Vimy, France

Military Service:

Age:
27
Force:
Army
Unit:
Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick Regiment)
Division:
44th Bn.
Citation(s):
Military Cross, British War Medal and Victory Medal
Honours and Awards:
Military Cross

Additional Information:

Born:
December 18, 1889 Peel County, Ontario
Enlistment:
May 3, 1916 Regina, Saskatchewan

Son of William Henry and Margaret Pawley, of Brampton, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 306 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information:

Cemetery:
VILLERS STATION CEMETERY ; Pas de Calais, France
Grave Reference:
V. E. 4.
Location:
Villers-au-Bois is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 11 kilometres north-west of Arras. The VILLERS STATION CEMETERY is about 2 kilometres north-west of the village.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Honour Roll – "University of Toronto / Roll of Service 1914-1918", 1921.
  • Cemetery – While visiting Ottawa early in 2007, I visited the Canadian War Museum.  Part of the World War I exhibit included a brief story about Lt. Norman Pawley, his death at Vimy, and the role of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in marking his grave.  As can be seen in another of my images, the exhibit included an original-style (ie wooden, hand painted) grave marker.

Let's go back now to April 2006.  My two young daughters and I had traveled to France, where we were spending a few days exploring the Western Front.  One of the places we intended to go was Villers Station Cemetery, in order to visit the grave of a friend's great-uncle.  While at the cemetery, I happened to take a few general "overview" shots of the plots.  

I have now discovered that two of the photographs that I took in France actually include Lt. Pawley's grave.  The best of them is that which you see above.  I don't know if the picture you are looking at has sufficient detail but in the original, the left-most stone has "5E" marked on the side.  This number defines which plot (5, or "V") and row (E) one is looking at (see the cemetery plan).  For the sake of confirmation, I looked up the name on that first stone (PENDER, O. L.) and it is indeed plot V.E.1.

We know that Lt. Pawley is buried in plot V.E.4.  It can therefore be said, with certainty, the Lt. Norman Howard Pawley lies below the fourth stone from the left, in the row closest to you.

Lest we forget.
  • Photo of Norman Pawley – "VICTORY AT A COST"

Lieutenant Norman Pawley was one of 3,398 Canadians killed at Vimy.  An experienced officer with the 44th Battalion, Pawley had received the Military Cross for 'conspicuous gallantry' during a raid on enemy trenches in March 1917.

"GRAVE MARKER"

Soldiers marked the graves of the fallen with temporary wooden crosses like this one.  After the war, the Imperial War Graves Commission (now called the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) established permanent cemeteries, often moving soldiers' remains from their temporary graves to their final resting place.
  • Exhibit – This is the grave marker that is exhibited in the Canadian War Museum, as alluded to in the caption of one of the other photographs that you see here.

This marker is indeed the original, and was donated to the CWM by Lt. Pawley's family. 

It was an honour to visit Villers Station Cemetery in France where he has rested for almost 90 years.  To see his original grave marker in the Museum, and to know that it once marked his resting place in that same peaceful corner of France, has been a truly moving experience for me.

Lest We Forget.
  • Photo of Norman Pawley – From: The Varsity Magazine Supplement Fourth Edition 1918
published by The Students Administrative Council, University of Toronto.  
Submitted for the Soldiers' Tower Committee, University of Toronto, by Operation Picture Me.
  • Grave marker
  • Artifact – Grave memorial at Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

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