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Henry Norman (1884 - 1916)

(A soldier of the Great War)

Overview

We found the name Henry Norman on the Roll of the Fallen at the entrance to Great Malvern Library. We did not find his story on the Malvern Remembers website, so attempted to find out a little more about him.

Roll of fallen

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) website records that:

Private 24888 Henry Norman, 14th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, died on 13th October 1916 aged 31 years.

Henry was the son of George and Annie Norman of Rodmell, Sussex, and husband of Ada Elizabeth Norman of 13 Madresfield Road, Malvern.

Henry was born at Rodmell, a small village on the Sussex Downs, near Brighton in Sussex; his name also appears on the Brighton War Memorial.

In 1912 Henry had married, Malvern girl, Ada Elizabeth George, the daughter of a quarry-man, and so it was that Henry enlisted at Malvern.

His unit, 14th Bn The Gloucestershire Regiment took part in the Battle of the Somme, and we think Henry probably died of wounds at a Casualty Clearing station; he is buried at Pas de Calais, France, in the Avesnes-le-Comte cemetery which is 20 Km west of Arras.

Family

Henry was born at Rodmell on 25th January 1884, the youngest son of agricultural labourer George Norman (1856 - 1891) and Hannah Earl known as Annie. Henry's father died in 1891 and his mother in 1894 when Henry, his brother William and sisters Annie and Esther became orphans.

In 1901 William, described as a laundry carman was staying in Sussex with his aunt Esther Earl and her husband Richard Simmons, while Esther was staying with her uncle Richard Earl Lower and his wife Cordelia. Annie Norman, Henry's eldest sister was then a general servant working at Braybrooke College for Girls in Hastings. We don't know where Henry was, but in 1911 he reappears as a domestic groom, lodging at Stone House Cottage, Hollington near Hastings.

On 1st June 1912 Henry Norman married Ada Elizabeth George at St Johns, Dormansland which is a small village near the Surrey, Sussex, border and Lingfield Park Racecourse. On the marriage certificate Henry is described as a groom, their fathers are described as labourers, and Henry's uncle Richard Simmons was a witness.

Wife

Ada Elizabeth George was born in Malvern Wells in 1883, the eldest daughter of stone quarry-man William and Ellen George who had 8 children. We guess William worked at one of the quarries on the Malvern Hills.

In 1891 the family was living in Welland, but by 1901 Ada had left home and was living not far away working as a housemaid at Cambridge House Girls' School in Malvern Wells then run by Mary Fletcher and her 3 sisters.

In 1911 Ada was recorded working as a housemaid in the household of retired farmer Thomas Stanton Hillman and his wife Elizabeth in Lewes, Sussex, a short distance from Rodmell, which probably explains how the couple came to meet.

We don't know what Ada did after Henry died, or what happened to her siblings, Edwin Alfred, Lilian Ethel, Nelly Gladys, Winifred Jessie, Robert Douglas and Harry. In 1904 Ada's elder brother William had married Jessie Bond. In 1911 he was a cab driver and living in Newton Road, Malvern; they then had two children Lilly Ethel and Arthur Ernest. In 1925 Lilly, Ada's niece, married Malvern man Frederick Albert Tudge (1901 - 1940) who sadly died in the Second World War.

Casualties of War

Leading Seaman Frederick Albert Tudge, Royal Navy, HMS Glorious, husband of Lilly, was killed on 8th June 1940 aged 39 years.  His name is on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. HMS Glorious was sunk while evacuating British aircraft from Norway by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the North Sea with the loss of over 1,200 lives.

Frederick's younger brother Able Seaman Edwin Roland Tudge, Royal Navy, HMS Neptune, would be killed on 19th December 1941. His name is also on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. The cruiser HMS Neptune sank with the loss of nearly all hands after running into a minefield off the coast of Africa near Tripoli.

Frederick and Edwin were the sons of painter Frederick John and Mary Tudge; in 1911 the family had been living at St Peter's Cottages, Belmont, Malvern. Both men were probably educated at Cowleigh being the nearest school and may have attended St Peter's church.

The Roll of the Fallen of the Second World War at Great Malvern library lists three men with the surname Tudge:

E Tudge

F Tudge

R C Tudge

Roll of fallen WWII

The CWGC do not list a WWII casualty with the initials R C, so the latter could be their cousin Reginald Charles Tudge who had been killed in the First World War.

Frederick and Edwin's cousin Private 81669 Reginald Charles Tudge, 106th Company, Machine Gun Corps, died on 31 August 1917 aged 20 years. He was the son of bricklaying foreman Walter and Fanny Tudge of Albion Terrace, Belmont, Malvern. His brother Lance Corporal 27898 Walter Henry Tudge, The Worcester Regiment, survived the war, despite being wounded, and was awarded the Military Medal in 1917 (ref 5).

Another man with the same surname, from Colwall, had been killed in 1918.

The CWGC website records, Private 32013 Reginald Charles Tudge, 14th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, who was killed on 19th June 1918 aged 21 years. He was the second son of Charles and Myra Ellen Tudge of Daisy Cottage, Upper Colwall.  Reginald's father Charles served with the Labour Corps, Royal Engineers.

 

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References

  1. Roll of the fallen, Great Malvern library
  2. CWGC website
  3. BMD index
  4. England and Wales census
  5. London Gazette, 17th July 1917

 


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