Arthur John Norman in WW1


Born 1877 at The Barracks, Needingworth, he was the son of Alice Norman, who later married William Dodson, which makes him half-brother to Harold and Baden Dodgson (on the Memorial and Roll of Honour). He lived with the Dodsons in Pyett’s Row and became an agricultural labourer.

He joined the Bedfordshire Regiment about 1895 and was posted to India where he had two toes amputated. He was probably posted to South Africa in 1899 with the Bedfords, as his young half brother was born on the day Mafeking was relieved and was named Ernest Baden after Baden-Powell. If they had one son fighting in South Africa they would have increased interest, and the Bedfords may have been involved in the Relief of Mafeking.

By 1911 he had left the army and was working as a labourer in Colne, Lancashire, near to his aunt Rachel (Norman) and her husband and family. On 21st August 1914 he enlisted as a Private with the East Lancashire Regiment and was promoted on Sept 3rd to Lance Corporal (on the strength of his earlier service?). However after 97 days at the training camp he was discharged with chronic bronchitis and died 3 months later with pulmonary tuberculosis in the Burnley Union Workhouse.

Arthur John Norman’s name does not appear on any Memorial or Roll of Honour, although he was born and lived here. He was discharged after 3 months service, but he had volunteered and was willing to die for his country.

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