Serjeant Norman Hewitt, a solicitor and rugby player, died on 9th March 1943 while serving in Tunisia with C Squadron, North Irish Horse, Royal Armoured Corps.
Serjeant Norman Hewitt (7897725) served in the North Irish Horse during the Second World War. He worked as a solicitor and lived in Belfast.
In civilian life, he was known to be part of an influential rugby-playing family. Norman was the youngest of 9 siblings and played for Instonians and an Interprovincial XV. Three brothers, Tom Hewitt, Frank Hewitt, and Victor Hewitt were all Irish internationals.
Serjeant Hewitt died on 9th March 1943 aged 26 years old.
Tanks remain in defensive positions. 1415 – 5 tanks of C. Squadron 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 whol operation. Days casualties – 5 ORs missing and 2 tanks knocked out.
This report was later corrected to a total of six missing. Sergeant Norman Hewitt and Trooper Robert James Currie died on 9th March 1943. Trooper McKerrow and Trooper Smith were later located having sustained injuries. Trooper Harrison and Trooper Johnston were taken prisoners of war.
On 8th March about 1200hrs, 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.
Serjeant Hewitt’s grave is in Section 4, Row B, Grave 12 of Tabarka Ras Rajel Cemetery, Tunisia. His name is on a memorial at the Royal Courts of Justice on Chichester Street, Belfast, and also on the War Memorial of Queen’s University, Belfast.