Husband of Kathleen Mary Norman; father of Robert Denver Olde
After the war he lived at 8 Bell Road, Remuera, Auckland SE2
Sergeant N. C. Olde, MM; Remuera; born England, 8 Aug 1904; wool classer; wounded 15 Jul 1942. (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p.127.)
'About ten of us under Sergeant Lord went into a crevasse in the escarpment to try and find out our position. We found that we were … practically surrounded by enemy on all sides but one, and drew fire if we made a movement. We could look on to a flat and saw some of our company dug in down there but the enemy concentrated heavy mortar fire on them and then drove out and captured them…. We stayed in our crevasse until noon then crept along a gully and met up with some ‘A’ Company personnel, and some more of our own chaps.
In the meantime A Company had reinforced 25 Battalion (as will be described later) and was on the extreme left flank.
Daylight found D Company stranded with over 400 yards of open country between it and the escarpment. Second-Lieutenant Hargrave decided to move eastwards, hoping that the sun would upset the aim of the enemy seen digging in about a hundred yards in front. As soon as the company began to move, however, it was shot at from all sides. Sergeant Robertson, at the rear, was killed instantly, and almost at the same moment Hargrave was wounded. Movement was impossible, and the survivors, about fifty strong, were taken prisoner.
Captain Tongue had returned from his fruitless quest for information when Colonel Allen and Captain Dutton arrived. The commanders discussed the situation and decided that C Company should pull back. The CO and the Adjutant returned to Battalion Headquarters and Tongue gathered up all the troops he could find, about one hundred all ranks. The light was growing fast, they were fired on, and there were many casualties. Men were seen on the skyline shaking blankets and moving about. They were Germans, and the company fixed bayonets and charged uphill. It was a bloody affair with grenades, bayonets and rifle butts, and when it was over there were 29 survivors, nine of whom were wounded, and five German prisoners. C Company, carrying its wounded, moved down the slight reverse slope. Lieutenant Smith, who was in the lead, saw men and vehicles ahead and went cautiously forward to investigate. They were from 6 Brigade, and the first man he met was one whom he had last seen working on his home farm. Captain Tongue reported to Brigade Headquarters, was put into brigade reserve, and for the first time found that the second phase of the attack had been cancelled.' (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. pp. 127.) AWMM