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Norman Beardmore

Birth

Norman Beardmore was born around March 1889 to Frederick (aged 34) and Emily (aged 31) Beardmore of 89, Oxford Road, in Macclesfield, Cheshire. He had an elder brother, Ralph (aged five). According to the Census, Frederick was an Equine Blacksmith.

Early Life

By the 1901 Census, the family had moved to 15 Cook Street, in Prescot, Lancashire, but Frederick is recorded as being a widower, his wife Emily having died a few years earlier when Norman was 11 years old. Norman began attending Prescott Grammar School in 1900.

Chester College

Norman attended Chester College, leaving in 1909 as a certified teacher, and by 1911, Norman (aged 21) was living as a lodger at Church Street in Haswell, County Durham.

Marriage

Norman was married to Marion Gunn by special license on December 24, 1914 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. At the time of his marriage, Norman was recorded as being in the Royal Engineers, having joined up on September 8, 1914. He was also recorded as a Clerk at Shotton Colliery Boys School, in County Durham.

Military Service

Norman joined the 447th Company of the Royal Engineers, part of 2nd Northumbrian Regiment, as a Sapper (Private), service no 1329. On February 10, 1915, he was made a temporary Lance Corporal. He arrived in France on April 18, 1915. The Royal Engineers designed and built the frontline fortifications, creating cover for the infantry and positions for the artillery.

The 2nd Northumbrian Field Company, Royal Engineers served with 50th Northumbrian Division, part of the Territorial Force, later being renamed the 447th (2nd Northumbrian) Field Company. They had just departed for their annual summer camp when war broke out, and they were at once recalled to their home base.

In April, they proceeded to France, concentrating in the area of Steenvoorde just as the German army attacked Ypres, using poison gas for the first time. The 50th Division was rushed into the battle. They saw action in the Battle of St. Julien, the Battle of Frezenburg Ridge and the Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge. On May 18, 1915, 447th Company was repairing wire on the trench parapets near Ypres, when Norman was wounded having been shot in the back. He died from his wounds on May 20, 1915, aged just 25 years old.

Post Mortem

Norman was awarded the British War and Victory Medals together with the Star Medal. He is buried at Hazebrouck Military Cemetery, in France.