Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Norman Joyce

Norman Joyce :

Norman Joyce : Efficiency Medal

Efficiency Medal

Norman was born on the 29th May 1902 in Manchester. His father was called Henry and his mother was Jane Ellen. He had 3 older siblings: Patrick, Veronica and Vincent, and 3 younger: Annie, Roland and Sidney.

Shortly before Norman was born, in 1901, the family lived at 57 Newburgh Street in Newton Heath, Manchester. Henry was not there on the 31st March when the Census was taken, so we don't know what his job was. In 1911 he worked at a Corporation Gas Works as a Labourer. Corporations were an early form of local council. It is likely that Henry worked for Manchester Corporation, because he lived at 213 Cobden Street, off Bradford Road in the Miles Platting area of the city.

We don't know anything about Norman's life until 1921. In this year he was a wire worker. Jane lived at 157 Cobden Street, but we don't know whether Norman was also living there. On the 20th July Norman joined the 8th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment at their headquarters in Ardwick. This was a unit of the Territorial Army (TA), so Norman will have kept his home and civilian job. He trained as a soldier during evenings and weekends, as well as an annual camp lasting around 2 weeks. His service number was 3516959.

Between October and December 1923 Norman married Elizabeth Ann Iveson in Manchester. They had 3 children: Ada between April and June 1924, Emily between October and December 1926 and Norman junior between April and June 1931.

At some point during his TA service Norman was promoted to Lance Corporal, and on the 24th March 1932 he became a Corporal. He left the battalion between the 19th July and the 23rd August 1933, but we don't know why. Less than a year after he reenlisted Norman was awarded the Efficiency Medal. This recognised 12 years service in the TA.

Norman was still serving when the Second World War broke out in September 1939. Along with the rest of the TA, the 8th Battalion was called into service, so Norman left his family and reported for duty.

After training the 8th Battalion was sent to France on the 23rd April 1940. For some reason Norman did not go with them. He was assigned to a unit of the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). We don't know which one or where they were based. He returned to a unit of the Manchester Regiment at some point before the end of October 1941.

On the 1st November 1941 Norman left the Manchester Regiment again. This time he was transferred to a unit of the Reconnaissance Corps. This transfer did not last long and Norman returned to a unit of the Manchester Regiment on the 12th March 1942. He was to stay with the regiment for the rest of the war. Norman was transferred to the Class Z (T) Reserve on the 6th October 1945, after the war had ended. This allowed him to return to his family. Once he reached the age of 45 Norman will have been released from the reserve.

We don't know whether Norman ever served abroad during the Second World War, or anything about the units he was assigned to. He will have been eligible for some Second World War campaign medals, but we don't know which.

The rest of Norman's life remains a mystery. He and Elizabeth continued to live in the Manchester area for the rest of their lives. She died between April and June 1970 aged 68. Norman lived until the age of 79. He died between October and December 1981.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council