In memory of Private Norman Otto

We are proud to share with you the stories which now form our Avenue of Honour. The first of these is the story of Norman Otto.

Private Norman Otto

31/51 Australian INF BTN

29/01/1922 – 06/09/1994

Born in Tara, QLD - A Stockman

Served in Papua New Guinea

Eager to serve and do his duty

Donated by Complete Driving

Norman Otto was born and lived in Tara Qld.  Norman enlisted with the 31/51 Battalion with its headquarters in Townsville. 

In mid-1943, while still in the Cairns area, the 31st/51st underwent amphibious training, using American landing craft. Leaving Australia in June and arriving in July, the battalion travelled to Merauke in Dutch New Guinea, via Horne Island in the Torres Strait. The 31st/51st throughout this time would be used primarily for garrison duties before facing heavy Japanese resistance in late 1944 and into 1945. 

Norman enjoyed his time in the military and was known as a man’s man and a mate’s mate. Norman loved to tell a story or two, and usually the bigger the better. He told his nephew Col Patterson one such story, that once whilst on active service he was patrolling through crocodile infested waters. 

Norman and his wife June had three children (Greg, Judy and Lindy) and lived in Tara before moving to Toowoomba. Norman was exceptionally well known and respected in the community. He worked as an auctioneer, a school bus driver and a minister. A bold Christian evangelist, Norman was devoted to his community and loved to serve others. He was also a passionate rugby league supporter. 

Norman passed in 1994 aged 72 and is remembered with much love by his family, his friends and his community. 


Primary source: Nephew Colin Patterson 

Shana Rogers