Norman’s birth was registered at Inverell in 1890. He was the fourth son of John and Jessie Blain of Argyle, Nullamanna near Inverell. He was a member of the Nullamanna Rifle Club when, at the age of twenty five, he enlisted at Liverpool NSW. Prior to his departure from Inverell a farewell function was held for him at the Council Chambers during which he and fellow enlistee Winter Jones were presented with the Inverell Medal – the first Inverell men to receive this token.
Norman became a member of the 13th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia for Egypt on HMAT A70 Ballarat in September 1915. During March 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion and then sent to France in June. Just two months later he was Killed in Action at Pozieres, France. Private Blain has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France. His few remaining personal effects, including mittens, scarf, wallet and photos, were returned to his Mother in 1918..
The Inverell Times newspaper 8 September 1916 described Norman as ‘a big strapping young man, hale and hearty’ and ‘a good rifle shot’.
At Inverell Private Blain’s name is recorded on the Honor Roll and Cenotaph. During 1919 a memorial tree was planted for him in Kurrajong Parade.
A brother, Reginald Stanley Blain, enlisted in October 1918 at Inverell however he was discharged due to the end of the War.