William Norman (1832 to 13th March 1896)


I struggled to locate this grave. I thought this soldier would be buried in the war graves section but after getting wet feet from walking up and down lines of headstone in dewy grass I was disappointed. Had I walked up the central path into the cemetery and I would have nearly bumped into the headstone as it’s pretty much central and grabs at the passer-by.


There not much information to find about this soldier and only the odd sepia photo on the internet. Though presented with a Victoria Cross for bravery by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park London he was buried in an unmarked grave (probably due to lack of money.)


Here I am over the brave bones of Private William Norman. He was born in Warrington, Lancashire and joined the 7th Regiment of Foot (later the Royal Fusiliers) of the British Army in 1854. It was while he was fighting in the Crimean War the following deed took place for which he was recognised. A week before Christmas this 22-year-old lad was fighting in Sebastopol in the Crimea. On 19 December 1854 he was on sentry duty in White Horse Ravine, a dangerous area strewn with enemy who may decide to shoot or stab him to death at any time. There’s little information about what happened but suddenly three Russians who were getting a measure of the terrain land came at him from the foliage. Any normal coward like me would have fled but Norman single-handed took two of them prisoner without alarming the Russians (not sure if he killed the third or he got away.) Not bad for a 22-year-old. At that age I was out playing on my bike or up in my bedroom blasting space invaders on my ZX Electron.


Later he continued fighting as a solider and achieved the rank of corporal, leaving the army at 33. He died at home in Hulme aged 64. Money must have been scarce as even though he was married with three children he was buried in an unmarked grave. The headstone was later provide by the Royal Fusiliers.


His Victoria Cross and other medals are displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London, England.


About to look for..






As always…touching the VC…




His medals in the Tower Of London…