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Those Who Came After The Original 500

William Coultas

William Norman Coultas
Regt # 1058

Donated by Daniel B. Breen

William Norman Coultas was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, 7th Jan 1899, and baptized, 30th Jan 1899, in a Methodist Church by Rev J.T. Norman. As a young man he was employed as a Clerk in St. John's making $30.00 per month.

On 10 Dec 1914, Norman passed his medical exam prior to enlisting in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR). On 17 Jan 1915, Pte Norman Coultas joined the RNR and was assigned Regimental No. 1058. His enrollment form stated that he was 19 yrs old, 5 6 tall and weighed 117 pounds. Norman's mother, Maria Coultas, was living at 80 Patrick Street. His father, Miles, had passed away.

The Medical Examiner was Cluny MacPherson. (Note: Lieut.-Col. Cluny MacPherson devised the gas helmet used throughout the whole of the British Army until superseded by the box respirator).
His enlistment form stated that he had fair complexion, light brown hair, and blue eyes. Norman was sworn in on 15 Feb 1915.

Norman left St. John's on the Troop ship S.S. Stephano on 20 Mar 1915 with D Company, # 7 Platoon. He embarked another Troop ship (name unknown) on 22 Mar 1915. He disembarked at Edinburgh Center on 30 Mar 1915.

Pte Coultas re-engaged for the duration of the war on, 12 Aug 1915, at Aldershot, England. He joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (M.E.F.) at Davenport on 20 Aug and headed for Alexandria. He landed Alexandria and entrained to Abbassia, Cairo on 31 Aug 1915. He left for Gallipoli on 13 Sep 1915 and landed Suvla Bay on the night of 19-20 September.

He was admitted to the 26th CCS Hospital with frostbite on 30 Nov 1915. He was sent to the 3rd Australian Hospital, Lemnos on 2 Dec 1915, and invalided to England on 26 Dec 1915. He was admitted to 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth on 3 Jan 1916, where he was treated for Frost Bite.

Norman was granted a furlough from Feb 2nd to Feb 11th and he went to Edinburgh. He was furnished with a warrant to Victoria and given an advance of 1 Pound.

Pte Coultas moved from the 2nd Battalion, Depot, to the 1st Battalion, British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) and left Southampton on 28th Mar 1916, arriving Rouen, France on 30th Mar. He was again hospitalized (29th CCS) on 19th May 1916, admitted to the 1st Stationary Hospital with appendicitis on 22 May and discharged to 29th Infantry Base in Rouen on 1st June. He rejoined his unit on 20 Jun 1916.

Norman's military career was not without it's colorful moments. Here is his conduct sheet.

Place Date Offence Witness Punishment By Whom Awarded Remarks
Newton Park School 21 Feb 1916 Overstaying furlough from tattoo, 21 Feb until 9:30pm, 23 Feb Corp. Lendy 7 days C.B. Major Whitaker Forfiets 3 days pay by R.W.
Racecourse 25 Mar 1916 1. Refusing to obey an order from NCO.

2. Absent from 8:30 parade

L/C White
Pte. Folow
Pte. Tessire?
Sgt. Gulliksen
168 hrs detention Major CW Whitaker  


Before long it was learnt that 1st July had been fixed for the beginning of the operations. The role of each Brigade and of its different units was settled, and the training was intensified to get everyone acquainted with their particular task.
The first attack of the 86th and 87th Brigades failed, and the 88th Brigade was ordered to renew the attack. On the left of the Brigade, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was ordered forward towards Beaumont Hamel and the Y Ravine, the strongest and most difficult part of the enemy's line.

On 1st Jul. 1916, Pte Norman Coultas fought in the battle of Beaumont Hamel, France and was killed in action.

His name is engraved on the Beaumont Hamel Memorial in France. There is no designated grave. His name is also in the Newfoundland Books of Remembrance at the National Archives in Ottawa.

Return to the Contributed Records

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Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen

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