Norman Ramsey Mitchell

In memory of Laura Maria Mitchell his mother died 20th September 1891, Norman Ramsay Mitchell died 26th April 1903; sister Rachel Macallum Mitchell died 11th June 1903; father William Cunningham Mitchell died 9th January 1848, buried in Warriston Cemetery; sons Thomas Hume Mitchell Sec-Lieut M.G.C. died at Rouen 16th April 1918, of wounds received in action, aged 20, buried in St Sever Cemetery there; Norman Ramsay Mitchell Lieut. Royal Scots, attached R.A.F. killed by aeroplane accident in Kent 6th June 1918 aged 24; widow Marion Brown Hume died 26th April 1950

CWGC: Lieutenant N. R. Mitchell, Royal Air Force, 1st School of Aerial Gunnery; d. 6 June 1918, killed in aeroplane accident in Kent; a. 28.

Norman Ramsay Mitchell was born in Gullane, East Lothian, on 24 June 1893, the eldest of three sons of Norman Ramsay Mitchell (1846-1903), and his second wife Marion Brown Hume (1858-1950).  Norman Ramsay Mitchell senior had a varied early career starting at 14 as a Jeweller & dentist apprentice but by 1881 he had settled in Edinburgh as a publisher and was employing three men.  Although his son Norman was born in Gullane the family were living by then at their long-term home, Venlaw, 8 Blackford Avenue, and his birth was registered in Edinburgh as well as in Dirleton (the registration district covering Gullane).

Norman Ramsay Mitchell (1893-1918) was educated at George Watson’s College, where he excelled in mathematics and was a prominent member of the School Golf Club.   He served his apprenticeship as a chartered accountant with Messrs Howden & Molleson, C.A., in York Place, Edinburgh, 1910-14 and also attended Edinburgh University to study law in 1912-13.  

Norman enlisted in the Royal Scots and landed in France on 27 July 1915.  He was wounded in September 1915 during the Battle of Loos, and spent a month in the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital at Millbank as a result of a gunshot wound to the scalp.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1916 and was attached to the Royal Flying Corps / R.A.F. from April 1917, qualifying as a pilot in August 1917.  He was stationed at the 1st School of Aerial Gunnery at Hythe in Kent when he and Flight Cadet A G Harries were killed on 6 June 1918.  Norman suffered severe head injuries as the result of “the accidental collision in the air of two bi-planes”.

Both Norman’s brothers also joined the Royal Scots.  Thomas Hume Mitchell gained a commission in the Machine Gun Corps and died in France only a few weeks before Norman was killed.  Laurence Hume Mitchell enlisted in August 1914 but was discharged as permanently unfit for service in June 1915 – serving in wet and cold conditions in the trenches in France had led to an attack of acute rheumatism which affected his heart.  He died in Surrey in 1950.

Edinburgh University Roll of the Fallen, Plate LX