(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Norman was born on the 7th July 1896 in Stalybridge, then part of Cheshire. His father was called John and his mother was Mary. He had 4 siblings: Harold was 18 years older than him and Sarah was 16 years older. We don't know the name of his other brother or sister. The family had also lost 2 children by 1911.
In 1901 John worked as a foreman at an iron moulder's factory. Harold worked in the same trade and Sarah was a weaver. The family lived at 192 High Street in Stalybridge.
By 1911 they had moved to 412 Cheetham Hill Road in nearby Dukinfield. Harold was no longer living with them and Norman was employed as an office boy at an ironworks. We don't know whether this was the same works his father was a foreman at.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and Norman joined the Manchester Regiment on the 9th September. He was given the service number 4635.
Norman was sent to France on the 23rd May 1915. He joined the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. They fought on the Western Front throughout the war, serving at Ypres in Belgium during April 1915, and then taking part in several battles during the Somme Offensive in the second half of 1916.
At some point Norman was wounded. We don't know when or how badly. He was evacuated to the UK for treatment and assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment whilst his health improved. By July 1917 though it was clear that he would never be fit enough to return to the Army. On the 9th he was discharged as 'no longer physically fit for war service'. Norman was given a Silver War Badge, serial number 207090, to show that his discharge was honourable.
The rest of Norman's life is a mystery. He died between April and June 1970 in Oldham, Lancashire. His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in March 2000.