Sergeant Norman Hewitt (7897725)served with C Squadron of the North Irish Horse during World War Two. They were part of the Royal Armoured Corps serving in North Africa when he died in 1943.
Hewitt was killed in action on or before 10th March 1943 in Sedjenane, Tunisia. There was initially some confusion in the North Irish Horse war diaries as men were taken prisoner or killed.
North Irish Horse Reports
Tanks remain in defensive positions. 1415 – 5 tanks of C Sqn with two platoons of Para made recce in force under orders of Corps Commander…
27 POW taken and useful info obtained. Heavy mortar fire during whole operation. Days casualties – 5 ORs missing* and 2 tanks knocked out.
Note: *Corrected to a total of 6 missing. Sgt Hewitt and Trooper Currie were killed. Troopers McKerrow and Smith were later found wounded. Troopers Harrison and Johnston were taken prisoner.
North Irish Horse War Diary – 9th March 1943
The battle report covers the events in more detail. An excerpt regarding Sergeant Norman Hewitt is printed below.
On 8th March about 1200 hours, one Troop of C Squadron under Lieut. J. E. Williams, with Capt. Sidebottom in support in a close support tank moved up the road Djebel Abiod-Sedjenane to support 1st Parachute Brigade in driving out the enemy who had infiltrated into our positions in the area round Sidi Moh Belkassen…
The number of enemy killed could not be ascertained but they were thrown into considerable confusion and 157 prisoners were taken, including five officers. The co-operation between infantry and tanks was excellent.
On 9th March the corps commander ordered a reconnaissance in force and himself detailed the force to consist of two platoons of infantry and six tanks…
The In-reserve tank then withdrew and picked up Lieut. Williams and crew en route. Approximately 27 prisoners were taken and some useful information was obtained. Throughout the day the road was under very heavy mortar and artillery fire. Casualties suffered while the Regiment was under fire: Killed: Sgt Hewitt, Tpr Currie. Wounded: Tpr McKerrow, Tpr Smith. Taken prisoner: Tpr Harrison, Tpr Johnston.
North Irish Horse Battle Report
Norman Hewitt’s grave is in Section 4, Plot B, Grave 12 of Tabarka Ras Rajel Cemetery in Tunisia, North Africa. He is remembered on a memorial stone at the Royal Courts of Justice on Chichester Street, Belfast. His name is also on the Queens University War Memorial.