Staff Sergeant Norman Frederick Coote (birth registered as George Fredeick Coote). the son of George Coote and Pamela Coote (nee Dent) was born at Toowoomba in Queensland on 29th May 1895. At the age of 47 years he was mobilized into the Australian Military Forces at Brisbane in Queensland on 12th June 1942 after swearing the statutory oath that he would serve for the duration of the war and an additional twelve months. He had previously served overseas in the Australian Imperial Force in World War 1. At the time of his enlistment he was married, employed as a Chemist and residing with his wife at Maleny, Queensland. His physical description at the time of enlistment was that he had brown hair and blue/grey eyes. He stated that he was of the Church of England religion.
Staff Sergeant Norman Coote was allotted the regimental number of Q142102 and he joined the Headquarters, Line of Communication Area, Brisbane, with the rank of Sergeant on 22nd June 1942. He joined the 3rd Australian Movement Control Group on 7th September 1942. He was transferred to No. 104 Advanced Dermatological, Medical and Veterinary Stores on 4th December 1942. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant upon joining the unit. He was detached for duty with the 117th Australian General Hospital on 13th December 1942 and returned to his unit on 3rd March 1943 where he was transferred to the 112th Australian General Hospital later that day.
Staff Sergeant Norman Coote died from a coronary occlusion at 1820 hours on 6th October 1943. At the time of his death he was 47 years of age. He was buried in the Lutwyche War Cemetery in Brisbane. For his service during World War 2, he had entitlement for the War Medal and the Australian Service Medal 1939/1945. Norman Coote’s name is commemorated on Panel No. 86 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board.
World War One Service
Staff Sergeant Norman Frederick Coote served during World War 1 as a Chemist with No. 3 Field Ambulance Unit and was one of the first men to enlist in World War 1. He served with No. 3 Field Ambulance Unit on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Private Simpson of “Simpson and his Donkey” fame served in the same unit.
Toowoomba Grammar archive records show that he enrolled as a day student on 9th February 1909 and left the School on 21st June 1911. His parent was shown as George Coote, Grenier Street, Toowoomba. Between the wars he completed studies as a chemist and owned a chemistry business in Toowoomba, Innisfail, Rosewood and Maleny. He completed his primary education at the East State School.
The following obituary was published in the School Magazine in November 1943:
Staff Sergeant Norman F. Coote. A funeral with full military honours was accorded Staff Sergeant Norman F. Coote, whose death occurred in September. He was a native of Toowoomba, and was educated at the East State and the School. On the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 he enlisted in the 3rd Field Ambulance and served on Gallipoli and France until the Armistice in 1918. On his return to civil life he completed his studies as a chemist, and owned and managed chemistry businesses in Toowoomba, Innisfail, Rosewood and Maleny. He enlisted in the present war and was serving as a chemist at an Australian military hospital, with the rank of Staff Sergeant, at the time of his death. He is survived by his widow, who is a daughter of Mr and Mrs Mervyn Dines, of Toowoomba, and one son, Mervyn Norman Coote.