PRIVATE NORMAN MARSHALL RAMAGE
25TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 24
BURIED: TYNE COT CEMETERY, BELGIUM
You can sense a father's pride in this inscription: his twenty-four-year-old son had died 'a patriot and a man'. In fact, Private Ramage's father elaborated on this when he filled in the circular for the Roll of Honour of Australia. In answer to the question as to whether there were any biographical details that might be of interest to the historian of the AIF Mr Ramage wrote:
Who answered the call of duty and died as he lived a patriot and a man.
Ramage enlisted - 'answered the call of duty' - on 2 August, two months before Australia held a referendum on whether or not to introduce conscription. The answer was 'no'. He went missing on 25 October 1917 and his body was not recovered until the war was over. Enquiries by the Red Cross failed to find any witnesses but a letter from Sergeant Short in May 1918 related how Norman:
... was going along the communication trench at Passchendaele on Oct. 25th when a shell got him and killed him instantly. He was very badly knocked about. He was buried in the communication trench near where knocked. I did not see it happen and the person who was with Ramage at the time and saw it has since been killed. He told me about it.