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Norman Job Reynolds

Birth

Norman Job Reynolds was born in the spring of 1878 to George and Minna Louise Reynolds. At the time of the 1881 Census, Norman had three brothers and one sisters and was living at North Newton School House, in North Pemberton, Somerset. Norman’s father, George, was a School Teacher and his mother, Minna, was a Sewing Mistress. His father was originally from Maesteg, in Glamorgan, South Wales.

Early Life

He attended Bridgewater Arts and Technical School and also played for Kingston Cricket Club, in Taunton.

Before joining the forces, Norman was a Freemason and a member of Royal Philanthropic Lodge No. 291 Highbridge, in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. He was initiated on November 6, 1903, at the age of 25, and later became the organist in the Lodge. In 1910, he became the Worshipful Master.

In 1907, Norman was a teacher at Combe St. Nicholas Elementary School, where his brother Percy was Headmaster. Norman married Gerladys, also a School Teacher, in 1904 and by 1911, they lived at Rosebery House in Huntspill, Bridgewater, with their son and two daughters. Both were employed by Somerset County Council. They also employed a domestic servant. By 1915, Norman had become Head Teacher of Huntspill Elementary School.

Norman was a member of Highbridge Choral Society and in 1910, was elected Captain of Highbridge, Hunstpill and District Cricket Club. He became Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of Somerset County Teachers' Association, which recorded that Norman had signed up to join the forces in a meeting in July 1915. He was President of the Bridgewater and District Teachers’ Association, Chairman of Highbridge Swimming Club and he was elected President of Somerset Amateur Swimming Association in 1915.

Chester College

Norman attended Chester College and left in 1899.

Military Service

Norman joined the Somerset Light Infantry in 1915, where he rose to the rank of Sergeant. His Battalion left Southampton on September 9, 1915, and arrived at Havre on the morning of September 10. After 24 hours rest, they travelled to Watten by train, arriving at 9am on September 12. From there, they marched to Bayenghem, arriving later that morning. After seven days, they moved on to Wardrecques, arriving there on September 20. They went on to Bourecq for one day, and then Noeux Les Mines on September 24.

Lest We Forget

On the morning of September 25, Norman’s unit was moved to Vermelles and deployed into action. The casualties in the Battalion over the next two days, in what became known as The Battle of Loos, included 15 officers and 271 other ranks (including Norman), 13 mules and one horse. Norman had been in France for just two weeks. He was 37 years old when he was killed in action.

Norman's name is also listed on a memorial in Wells Cathedral, in Somerset.