Norman PURTILL
Rank: Private
Number: 40357
Unit: 16th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 22 October 1917
Age: 19
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Norman was born in Stockport, the son of John Edward Purtill and Annie Purtill. The 1901 Census records John, then aged 34, working as a cotton spinner. Annie was 27. By the time the War Graves Commission was collating its casualty information in the early 1920s, John had died and Annie was living at 29 Lord Street. It's not known if this was the family home that Norman would have lived in.

His service number suggests he was an early volunteer for the army probably joining in early 1915, when he was still 17. He possibly lied about his age or, more probably, a blind eye was turned until he was 18 and eligible to be sent overseas. The 16th was formed as a "Bantam" Battalion - for men who had failed the army's original height requirement to be at least 5ft 4 inches tall. Although taller men were conscripted later, Norman's early service means he was between 5ft and 5ft 4 inches in height.

The "Bantam" men got no special treatment in their army service. Norman was killed during an attack described here. He has no known grave.

   
           
   
     
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