Tompsett, Norman. DoD: 12/10/1917. Age: 23. Son of Benjamin Tompsett, Castlemaine, Hollington Park, St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sx. Occ: Architect. Unit text: 2nd Battalion Otago Regiment NZEF. Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial. N.Z
The Tompsett’s were a prolific farming family who had moved from East Sussex to Moor Farm in Marden where Norman was born in 1894. The family moved to Castlemaine Farm in Horsmonden in 1896.
Norman was a Day Pupil at Heath House Boys School in Maidstone Rd., Horsmonden and on completion of his education there he decided to take up Architecture and moved to Eastbourne to further his career.
After his initial training was completed in 1914, Norman moved to New Zealand to take his final examinations, staying with the Wooderson family living in Te Kuiti near Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand. The Wooderson family were Sussex farmers known well by Norman.
Early in 1915 Norman enlisted into the 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment and served in Egypt and the Gallipoli Peninsular
Norman, along with many soldiers had suffered with Enteric Fever and following time convalescing in Malta was eventually sent home to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch, Essex.
He was sent to Sling Camp at Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire which was an NZ unit where wounded NZ soldiers were sent to regain their fitness before rejoining their units.
Norman left to rejoin his unit and fought in the Somme Campaign in France where some of the heaviest battles were seen.
His Commanding Officer singled Norman out for displaying great leadership qualities and recommended him for Officer training after which he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He returned to Sling Camp awaiting orders.
During his time back in England he was engaged to be married to Miss Constance Eardley who was the only daughter of Mr & Mrs Ernest Robert Eardley, Headmaster of Heath House Boys School, Normans old School.
On 28th June 1917 Norman was posted to his old regiment, 2nd Battalion Otago Infantry who were fighting in Belgium.
Sadly, whilst leading his company on a fierce frontal assault against a strongly fortified German position at Passchendaele, on 12th October 1917, he was killed.