RFA West Lancs Bdes
680220 SGT. N. ALLISON. R.F.A.
Norman Allison was born Norman Wrigley in the second quarter of 1894 in Preston. His mother was Lucy Wrigley (b. 1866 in Doncaster). Lucy was a domestic servant and she was unmarried. It seems that shortly after Norman’s birth, he was given into the care of his aunt, Lucy’s sister Alice, and her husband, Thomas Allison. Alice (b. 1867 in Doncaster) was also a domestic servant. It’s not clear from the records how she and Thomas Allison met. He was born in 1864 in Claughton. In 1891, he was living as a boarder at Barnacre with Bonds and Alice was still living in Doncaster. They were married the following year in Doncaster and some time in the 1890s moved to Bamber Bridge. Tom was a blacksmith by trade. Tom and Alice had three children of their own – John William (1897-98), Gladys (b. 1899) and Gertrude (b. 1902). In both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, Norman is registered as ‘nephew’ and uses his mother’s surname, but when he enlisted he used his uncle’s surname. Before the War, Norman was a weaver. The family lived at 14 Havelock Terrace, Bamber Bridge.
Norman’s service number (680220) comes in a batch of numbers associated with men who mainly served with 276 Brigade, but Norman did not go abroad with these men, but instead was posted to “C” Battery of 286 Brigade. My guess is that he was in the Territorials before the War and had some experience which would be useful for the new recruits. And Norman was promoted to Sergeant. So he went to France with the other Briggers in February 1917 and served in the defence of Armentières and then in October his Division was moved to Ypres where they joined the Third Battle of Ypres. On 9 October 286 Brigade returned to action engaging in harassing and destructive fire on enemy strongpoints, but also suffering their heaviest losses of the war so far, with many soldiers being gassed. Norman was killed two days later, on 11 October 1917. He was 23 years old. During October 1917, 285 and 286 Brigades had 43 men killed, 240 wounded and 290 horses incapacitated.
Service Number: 680220
Date of Death: 11/10/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “C” Bty, 286 Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 4 to 6 and 162.
Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL