Private William Norman VC

Private William Norman was given his Victoria Cross medal on 26th June 1857, the first day of the presentation of the newly instituted decoration for valour. William shared the day with 61 other soldiers, both officers and other ranks, receiving their medal from the Queen who was on horseback. He had been gazetted on 24th Feb 1857 and had performed his act of courage, at the age of 25, on 19th Dec 1854 during the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War. He was on sentry duty placed some distance in front of the advanced sentries of an outlying picquet in the White Horse Ravine. It was a dangerous place to be but when he confronted 3 Russians he single-handedly captured two of them without alarming the picquet.

He was born in Warrington, Lancashire in 1832. He reached the rank of corporal and lived to the age of 64, dying on 13th Mar 1896. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Weaste Cemetery, Salford. When the lack of a headstone was brought to the attention of the Regimental Museum the trustees paid for one to be made and it was erected in January 2004.

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by Stephen Luscombe