Profile

MAZE , Norman
(Service number 58555)

Aliases
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 14 October 1889 Place of Birth Pleasant Point

Enlistment Information

Date 22 May 1917 Age 27 years 7 months
Address at Enlistment Sherwood Downs, Fairlie
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience Volunteers - disbanded
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Sarah MAZE (mother), Pleasant Point, South Canterbury
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 154 lbs. Chest measurement 36½-39½inches. Complexion dark. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Obstruction of right nostril; old fracture of nose. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 29th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Wellington Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 29 September 1918 Age 29 years
Place of Death In the Field, Havrincourt, France
Cause Killed in action
Notices Timaru Herald, 22 October 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Timaru Memorial Wall; Pleasant Point War Memorial; Pleasant Point School Memorial; Ashwick Flat War Memorial; Fairlie War Memorial; Timaru Boys' High School Memorial

Biographical Notes

Norman Maze was the fifth son and ninth of the twelve children of Michael and Sarah (née Brown) Maze, of Pleasant Point, South Canterbury. Brothers Michael and John Maze, who had come to New Zealand from County Down, Ireland, married sisters Saran and Janet (Jessie) Brown, respectively. They purchased a farm near Pleasant Point, the farm “Downlands” remaining in the Maze family for 100 years. Born on 14 October 1889 at Pleasant Point, Norman was educated at the local school, before going off to Timaru Boys’ High School. Norman did well at school, being awarded a prize for Standard III in 1896, and again in 1897. The headmaster explained the allotting of the prizes on the basis of attendance as being more satisfactory than on that of merit, although several prizes were for merit. In 1898 Norman was the winner of a special prize for composition in Standard IV. On this occasion the headmaster said that nearly all the special prizes had been won by pupils who had attended well. And in 1900 he was awarded a proficiency prize for Standard VI, and a spelling prize. The high point came in 1901 when, as well as receiving the spelling prize, Norman Maze was named dux of the school. The following year he again carried off the spelling prize for the upper school.

Norman Maze passed the Junior Civil Service examination in 1902 and, achieving a good result in the 1903 senior scholarship examination of the South Canterbury Education Board, was recommended for a free place at the Timaru Boys’ High School. In 1905 he was again successful in the Junior Civil Service examination, passing with credit and in 58th place nationwide. Awarded the Form V arithmetic prize at the Boys’ High School in 1906, he was among the prize recipients who were heartily applauded by both boys and girls. He was again successful in the Junior Civil Service examination, passing with credit and named in the first 100 candidates, in 1907, and, a few months later, he passed the Senior Civil Service examination. “This last is a very meritorious performance as the examination is usually taken in sections, but Maze has passed the whole examination at one attempt,” the headmaster reported to the High School he featured Board.

Norman Maze also shone at sports. At the S.C. Amateur Athletic Club’s annual sports meeting in February 1907, he finished in second place in the 120 yards handicap schools race and was a member of the High School relay team which won the schools relay race. It was at the athletic Grounds that Norman Maze was one of the victims of theft, in August 1910. Norman played in the Timaru High School football team for the President's Trophy in the Seven-a-Side Tournament on 24 May 1907. Norman was a member of the South Canterbury (Green and Black) representative team which enjoyed a win over neighbouring North Otago, in August 1910. South Canterbury, with Maze playing in the three-quarters, competed well for much of the game against Canterbury, later in the same month, although a win eluded them. Maze was one of those “concerned in some dashing play”. He was again selected in the representative team in the 1911 season. Meeting Ashburton in July, South Canterbury enjoyed a resounding victory, Maze streaking up and scoring “a pretty try”, and putting Their team in a favourable position on more than one occasion.

In March 1912, Norman Maze of Pleasant Point was successful in the ballot for pastoral runs on the Sherwood Estate, scoring 11,157 acres. Thus he was farming at Sherwood Downs when his name was drawn in the military ballot in May 1917. He enlisted on 22 May 1917, aged 27 years 7 months. A self-employed farmer, single and Presbyterian, he was residing at Sherwood downs, Fairlie. Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, weighing 154 pounds, and with a chest measurement of 36½-39½ inches, he had a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all normal, as were his heart and lungs, his limbs and chest well formed. He had suffered no illnesses or diseases, was vaccinated, and was in good bodily and mental health. An old fracture of his nose resulted in obstruction of the right nostril. Norman had previously served with the Volunteers until their disbandment. His mother, Mrs Sarah Maze, of Pleasant Point, South Canterbury, was his nominated next-of-kin.

Before he had to leave, he and his brother John gave a special monetary prize for the Timaru A. and P. Association. On 25 June 1917, N. Maze left Timaru for camp. He and another departing soldier were bade farewell at the Ashwick Flat School. “The number present and the hearty good will of the meeting were emblematical of the high esteem in which the men are held, and a more fitting farewell could not have been tendered them.” Dancing was indulged in and refreshments provided. Each soldier was presented with a wristlet watch, and each returned thanks for the gift and good wishes. The Fairlie Patriotic Social Committee planned to hold a farewell social in the Public Hall on 2 August, to say good-bye to five Privates, N. Maze included. A farewell social was given at the Pleasant Point Oddfellows’ Hall in early August. Tribute was paid to the departing men and reference made to their good qualities. A set of razors was presented to each soldier, and good wishes for God speed and a safe return. Musical items, dancing, and a delicious supper followed.

Embarking with the Canterbury Infantry of the 29th Reinforcements on 15 August 1917 at Wellington per the “Ruahine”, Private N. Maze reached Glasgow on 3 October. Having marched into Sling on 3 October, he proceeded overseas on 5 December and joined his battalion at Rouen on 5 January 1918.

The news brought in Casualty List No 978 in October 1918 was not good Private Norman Maze had been killed in action on 29 September 1918 in the Field at Havrincourt, France, 28 years 11 months old, in the Battle of Canal du Nord, Grevillers. His name is engraved on the Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France. Norman Maze was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which were sent to his mother, while the scroll and plaque were despatched to his brother John Maze . He is remembered on several district memorials – Timaru Memorial Wall, Pleasant Point War Memorial, Pleasant Point School Memorial, Timaru Boys’ High School Memorial, Ashwick Flat War Memorial, and Fairlie War Memorial.

John Maze, Norman’s oldest brother, who was named as the sole executor of his Will, duly drew up “a full and perfect inventory of the estate effects and credits of the said deceased”. Several items were half shares, the other half belonging to his brother Gordon with whom Norman was in partnership. Also included were a share in the intestate estate of his father, an amount deposited by deceased with Y.M.C.A. in France, and back military pay. His mother was the main beneficiary, but should she have died, his brothers and sisters would take shares. His father Michael Maze, a well known and much respected farmer at Pleasant Point, died in July 1917. At the same time, Mrs Maze and her son Michael, subscribed to Ladies’ Patriotic Society’s Christmas Gifts Fund.

A Roll of Honour notice in the Timaru Herald of 22 October 1918 recorded “He fought as he lived, for justice.” The Rector of the Boys’ High School, in his report to the Board in October 1918, noted that seven old boys had given their lives for the Empire since the previous meeting, one of them being N. Maze. The board passed by silent vote a motion of sympathy with the relatives of the old boys who had been killed at the War. A very nice social in aid of the Red Cross was held in the Oddfellows’ Hall in late October. It was, however, tinged with sorrow at the news that, since they had last met, two Point boys – Private Norman Maze and Private James Cosgrove – had fallen at the front. They had given their young lives for the Empire. The audience passed a vote of sympathy with the parents of the deceased soldiers. Later in the month the chairman of the Pleasant Point School Committee moved a vote of condolence to the parents of two of the school boys who had fallen in the firing line, Norman Maze and James Cosgrove. In early November, at the monthly meeting of the Mackenzie County Council, the chairman moved a resolution of sympathy with the relatives of two more Mackenzie County soldiers who had been killed at the war since the previous meeting – Private Norman Maze, of Sherwood, and Private Adam Corbett, of Cricklewood. At a meeting of the Pleasant Point Patriotic Committee later in November, the chairman moved that a letter of condolence be sent to the parents of Privates N. Maze and J. Cosgrove. At the Ashwick Flat Patriotic Committee’s annual meeting in May 1919, profound regret was expressed at the loss the district had sustained in the deaths in action and from sickness of seven local men, one being Private N. Maze. At the same meeting the matter of some suitable memorial of a lasting nature for those who had taken part in the war from the district was discussed.

The Ashwick Flat Memorial was unveiled in June 1921 in the presence of about 250 people. The National Anthem was sung at the beginning of proceedings, addresses were given by local dignitaries, the hymn “Oh God Our Help in Ages Past” was sung, a prayer of dedication was offered and all gathered joined in the Lord’s Prayer. After the unveiling a piper played “The Flowers of the Forest” and the bugler sounded “The Last Post”. A memorial oak had been planted before the ceremony. Engraved on the west side of this impressive monument are the names of seven men who fell in the Great War, Private n. Maze being one of them. And in September 1921 the Pleasant Point War memorial was unveiled in an impressive ceremony before a large crowd. Sited in a commanding position, it is an imposing monument constructed largely of Coromandel granite, the steps of light grey unpolished stone. The names are engraved by fine chiselling on the die of polished rich dark grey granite, surmounted by a timber cross. Beneath the inscription - “Our Glorious Dead. Their Memory Liveth for Ever.” - are engraved the names, including that of N. Maze. Little Maisie Maze, the daughter of Norman’s brother John, then laid on the steps a wreath for the Memorial Committee, and this was followed by a number of others. The “The Last Post” sounded by the bugler.

His Excellency the Governor-General, Viscount Jellicoe, opened the Timaru Boys' High School Memorial Library on 21 March 1924. Included in the names above the inscription "Their name liveth for evermore." on the roll of honour is N. Maze. After the formal opening, the "Last Post" and "Reveille" and one minute's silence followed, and the hymn, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past", was sung. Three hundred boys went from the school and 52 did not return. From that date boys have looked with pride at the tablets housed in such a fine building. It was believed to be the only memorial of its kind in the country.

His brother Allan Maze also served in World War I and his oldest brother John Maze enlisted but did not go abroad. Allan named one of his sons Norman, as did their brother Gordon who had farmed in partnership with Norman. He was a cousin of Francis Livingstone Maze and John Maze who both served in World War I. A nephew, Gordon Lyall Maze, died in 1944 at Monte Cassino, Italy. Gordon’s brother, Alan George Maze, and his cousin, Cecil Maze, also served in World War II.

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [20 October 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5549 0079728) [11 April 2014]; CWGC [21 October 2013]; Timaru Herald, 28 December 1896, 31 December 1897, 24 December 1898, 17 December 1900, 23 December 1901, 23 December 1902, 14 January 1904, 9 February 1904, 17 December 1906, 24 May 1907, 10 February 1908, 7 April 1908, 12 & 22 August 1910, 15 September 1910, 29 July 1911, 9 May 1917, 11, 25 & 29 June 1917, 14, 23, 28 [x 2] & 31 July 1917, 17, 22 & 30 October 1918, 1, 4 & 12 November 1918, 14 May 1919, Temuka Leader, 25 January 1903, 2 March 1907, 24 October 1918, 14 June 1921, 17 September 1921, New Zealand Mail, 24 January 1906, Press, 22 August 1910, 21 March 1924, Ashburton Guardian, 4 August 1911, Otago Daily Times, 23 March 1912, Evening Star, 17 October 1918 (Papers Past) [26 October 2013, 06, 14 & 15 May 2014; 06 May 2015; 09 September 2016; 22 October 2019]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [22 October 2013]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [2013]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [17 June 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [22 October 2019]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

TS

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