ALFRED NORMAN

 

Born: 1885, Oldham, Lancashire.

Died: Christmas Eve, 1915; age: 30; Committed Suicide – found with head completely severed from the body on the railway line between Ipswich and Bramford.

Enlistment Location: Manchester, Lancashire.

 

Rank: Gunner; Service Number: 32361.

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery, 5th Reserve Brigade.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.

 

Grave Reference:

M.I.I.

Ipswich Old Cemetery,

Ipswich.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   61, Napier Street East, Oldham, Lancashire.

 

Alfred was 5 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Noble Norman, 40, a Foreman – Grain Warehouse, born Oldham.

Sarah Ann Norman (nee Halstead), 37, born Oldham.

George Albert Norman, 17, a Commercial Clerk, born Oldham.

Annie Norman, 15, born Oldham.

Frank Halstead Norman, 12, born Oldham.

Frederick Norman, 10, born Oldham.

Rosaline Norman, 3, born Oldham.

Bertha Norman, 3, born Oldham.

 

1901   44, Parkfield Road, Failsworth, North Manchester, Lancashire.

 

Alfred was 15 years old, an Engineer’s Clerk. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Noble, 50, a Grocer’s Assistant.

Sarah, 47.

Annie, 25.

Frederick, 20, a Grocer’s Clerk.

Rosaline, 13.

Bertha, 10.

Harold Norman, 8, born Oldham.

 

1911   152, Oxford Street, Wereth, Lancashire.

 

Alfred was 25 years old, a Stripper & Grinder – Jobber. He was a boarder at the home of 46 year old, widow, Hannah Dakin.

 

Alfred’s father, Noble Norman died March 1902, at 44, Parkfield Road, Failsworth, Lancashire. His mother, Sarah Ann Norman died 1903, Oldham, Lancashire.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Frank Norman – brother.

Diss Express and Norfolk and Suffolk Journal Friday 31 December 1915

SOLDIER KILLED ON THE G.E.R.

On Friday morning a tragic discovery was made on the line between Ipswich and Bramford, a soldier (Private Alfred Norman, of the Ist Reserve Brigade, RFA, Ipswich) being found with his head completely severed from the body. The deceased was a native of Warrington. He had been at the front and returned to Colchester, where he was attached to the R.F.A. It was only the 17th inst, that be had come to Ipswich. —An inquest on the body was held on Monday. George Albert Norman, Warrington, identified the body as that of his brother, who he last saw on December 2nd at Manchester. He was called up at the beginning of the war, and went to France in August, 1914. He was admitted to Netley Hospital on August 30th, 1915, suffering from neurasthenia. He left the Hospital on November 23rd for ten days leave, spending part of the time with witness, and the remainder at Oldham. He was far from well when left to rejoin, but he had certainly improved in health. He was continually worrying over little matters, and it was a question whether his brain was in its proper condition. Witness never had letter from him after he rejoined. There had been no mental trouble in the family, but deceased told him that whilst in France he had threatened to take his life. When he left witness, he told him that witness would never see him again, but he had said the same thing when he was in Netley Hospital.—George Edwards, foreman platelayer, said that on Friday morning, about 9 15, he was patrolling the length, Ipswich to Bramford, and saw the body of a soldier lying straight across the up-line four-foot way. His shoulder was close up to the rail, and was lying on his right hand side. The head was completely severed from the body, and was lying on a sleeper on the outside of the rail. Witness removed the body to the side of the line, and reported the matter to the police. The last time the line was patrolled was by witness on the previous afternoon, at 4.45, when all was clear Police Constable Miles said that when he arrived on the scene, about 470 paces from the Sproughton crossing, near the bridge over the Gipping, rigor mortis had set in, which showed that death must have taken place in the early hours of the morning. Witness examined the body and found two letters from the deceased brother, an identity certificate, £2/8.4 money, and various other articles. Witness found that the deceased had been absent at roll call on the previous evening. He was last seen at 4 30, but after that witness had failed to trace his movements at all. The deceased was spoken of in the Battery as being very reliable and a steady soldier. There was no military charges of any kind hanging over his head. Gunner James Alfred Leek, of the R.F.A., said he had known the deceased since December 14th of this year. Deceased had seemed very quiet and spoke to noone during the time witness had known him. Gunner Charles Sillott, of the same battery, said he had known the deceased since arrived in Ipswich, and all the time be seemed very depressed.—The jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased committed suicide whilst irresponsible for his actions.

 

Royal Field Artillery, 5th Reserve Brigade.

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