McKimm, Norman (No. 2719325)

McKimm, Norman

Guardsman

No. 2719325, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards

Killed in action on Tuesday 30 March 1943 (aged 35)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Medjez-el-Bab Memorial, Tunisia (Face 14)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s)

BIOGRAPHY

Norman McKimm was born in William Street, Newtownards on 14 December 1907 and he was a son of William and Catherine McKimm (nee Cowell) who were married on 29 September 1896 in Second Newtownards Presbyterian Church.  William McKimm, a coachman from Newtownards, was a son of William McKimm, a labourer.  Catherine Cowell from Douglas, Isle of Man, was a daughter of William Cowell, a mason.

The McKimm family lived at 81 Balfour Street and later at 24 James Street, Newtownards.

William McKimm worked as a coachman and labourer and he and Catherine had ten children:

William Samuel (born 6 February 1897 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)

Ambrose (born 18 May 1898 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)

William Martin (born 14 October 1901 in Balfour Street, Newtownards; died of meningitis 26 May 1913)

John (born 29 November 1904 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)

Kathleen Mona (born 27 January 1906 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)

Norman (born 14 December 1907 in William Street, Newtownards)

Eric George (born 7 July 1911 in James Street, Newtownards)

Maurice (born 11 September 1914 in James Street, Newtownards)

William Merton (born 13 May 1916 in James Street, Newtonards)

Elizabeth Emily (born 8 October 1918 in James Street, Newtownards)

Norman McKimm (aged 29) was a discharged soldier when he married Mary Jane (Jennie) Weir (aged 24) in Newtownards Registrar’s Office on 8 October 1938.  Jennie’s father Joe had been on active service during the First World War.  Norman and Jennie McKimm lived for a time at 32 Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards and they had four children:

Grace Audrey (born 30 November 1935 in Ards District Hospital)

William Norman (born 16 March 1939 in Ards District Hospital)

Eric Desmond (Derek, born 1941)

Noretta (born June 1943, some three months after her father died).

Guardsman Norman McKimm (No. 2719325) served with the Royal Scots Fusiliers from 8 January 1930 until 24 August 1936 and after leaving the Army he worked as a general labourer.  He enlisted in Belfast on 26 September 1939 and served with the Irish Guards.  In his enlistment papers it is recorded that he was 5 feet 9½ inches tall and he had a burn scar on his left forearm.  Between periods of service in Britain he was posted to Norway for a short time in 1940 and he went to North Africa on 28 February 1943.  One month later, on 30 March 1943, he was reported as missing in action and a year later, in March 1944, it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed.  In an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in 1944 his wife Jennie included the verse:

His name is dear to memory,

 ’Tis graven on our hearts,

His kindly smile is with us still,

Lingering, loath to part.

In an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in 1945 his wife Jennie included the verse:

A soldier’s grave, in an unknown land,

Holds one we loved so dear,

A smiling face that won’t come home

When they sound the last ‘All clear’.

Guardsman Norman McKimm (No. 2719325) was awarded four service medals – the 1939/45 Star, the Africa Star (1st Army Clasp), the Defence Medal and the War Medal 1939/45.

Guardsman Norman McKimm (No. 2719325) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s).