The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Ablett
First Name:
Norman Leslie
Nick Name:
Normie
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX7622
Company:
‘C’ Company
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
Discharged:
4.03.1946
DOB:
25.04.1918
Place of Birth:
York, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Henry Ablett
Mothers's Name:
Linda Doris Ablett
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Builder’s Labourer
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub‐Camp No.17, Omuta
POW#:
1490
Japan:
Awa Maru Party, Kumi No. 41
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki‐Okinawa‐Manila, USS Cape Gloucester, Manila‐Morotai‐Darwin PBY Catalina aircraft A24-306, Darwin‐Perth by aircraft 10.10.1945.

General Description

Norm was the eldest of three children born to parents Harry Ablett and Iris Martin who lived in Subiaco. Harry Ablett was a telegraphist for GPO.

Sadly Iris Ablett died before Norm was 10 years old.   His father subsequently remarried to Linda Eacott from Mandurah.

Norm spent most of his childhood years with his siblings in Osborne Park where they worked on a poultry farm their father ran in Main Street to starve off the effects of the Depression. The children lived a hardy upbringing between farm work and play.

 In 1937 his father Harry was transferred to Bunbury as postmaster. Norm who was employed as a plaster-fixer remained in Perth until he enlisted in 1940.

Norm Ablett waiting to load rucksack into truck.
Norm Ablett waiting to load rucksack into truck.

Norm Ablett for many years, in fact right up until his death owned and operated a hardware store in South Fremantle.  He was always happy to receive a visit from his 2/4th mates and enjoyed a chat.

Norm remained a bachelor and died in 2010 aged 92 years.

Len Holtzman & Norm Ablett
Len Holtzman & Norm Ablett
Singapore 1992 Rear L - R ---, Tom Hampton, ---, Les Kemp, Norm Ablett, ..., Jack Kyrios, Ted Elliot. Front L - R, Jim Gilmour, John Gilmour, ---, Ron Badock, Jim Elliot.
Singapore 1992
Rear L – R —, Tom Hampton, —, Les Kemp, Norm Ablett, …, Jack Kyrios, Ted Elliot.
Front L – R, Jim Gilmour, John Gilmour, —, Ron Badock, Jim Elliot.

 

Adelaide 1993-
Adelaide 1993- Norm standing far right.

Others not in order:  Margarita Mahoney, Lew Lonsdale, Bobbie Bates, Joyce Murdoch, Wally Lynn, Harry & Lynn Norris, Cowboy & Marion Matthews.

 

Norman Ablett
Norman Ablett

Norm spent his POW years on the Thai-Burma Railway and in Japan.

He spoke little of his ordeal after he returned to WA except to say the coalmines provided good air-raid shelters when US attacked Japan. Also the constant malnutrition left Norm with permanent eye damage.

This did not stop him from establishing himself as a shopkeeper and entrepreneur. He started a concrete manufacturing business with his mate Jack Fitzgerald (a former German POW). Because they required plumbing fittings and other hardware for troughs and tanks they made they opened Swan Hardware in 1948, in Hampden Road, Beaconsfield. The business expanded and Norm purchased neighbouring land and properties. He bought out his partner in 1966.

Norm was such an unassuming man few shoppers realized the man cleaning the floors and/or shuffling through nuts and bolts was in fact the storeowner.

Norm was always a generous man and wanting Swan Hardware to continue, he gifted the business to the shop manager Maria Sciano.

Normie passed away aged 92yrs, August 8 2010, at South Fremantle, WA.

Adelaide 1993 No. 2 - Margareita, Mahoney, Lew Lonsdale, Bobbie Bates, Joyce Murdoch, Wally Linn, Harry & Lynn Norris, Norma Ablett (far right))
Adelaide 1993 – Not in order – Margarita, Mahoney, Lew Lonsdale, Bobbie Bates, Cowboy & Marion Matthews,  Joyce Murdoch, Wally Linn, Harry & Lynn Norris, Norm
Ablett (far right)
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