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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 49498 Norman Birkhead

  • Age: 26
  • From: Huddersfield
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
  • D.O.W Friday 6th July 1917
  • Commemorated at: Railway Dugout B.g. Zillebeke
    Panel Ref: Sp.Mem F.15
Norman was born in Huddersfield on 19th March 1891 the son of George Henry Birkhead and his wife Rebecca (nee Hanson). He was baptised at Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
on 23rd April 1891. THe family residence was shown as Hillhouse. 

The 1891 Census shows the family, with Norman as an infant, living at Halifax Old Road, Huddersfield. His father is a 36 year old house painter born in Huddersfield whilst his mother is 38 years of age and was also born in Huddersfield. Norman has four siblings, all born in Huddersfield, who are shown as; Sarah A. aged 15, Tom aged 12, Edith aged 7 and Ethel aged 4.

By 1901 the family have moved to Liscard in Cheshire living at 16 Belmont Road, Liscard. Both parents are in the household alongside Norman now aged 10 and his three sisters; Sarah A. now aged 25, Edith aged 17 and a draper's assistant and Ethel aged 14 and a confectioner's assistant. There is no trace on this record of Norman's elder brother Tom. 

Norman was educated at Old Bardsley School, Rake Lane. 

The 1911 census finds the family living at 25 Wright Street, Egremont, Cheshire. Norman is now 20 years of age and is a butchers assistant to Mr. C. Corry, Borough Road, Seacombe. His parents have been married for 34 years and have had five children of whom four have survived. His sister Ethel, now 24 yers of age, is still living in the household.

Norman married Annie  Elizabeth Roberts in the fourth quarter of 1913 in Birkenhead. They had two children, a daughter Nancy born in 1914 and a son Norman George born in 1915. 

Norman enlisted in Wallasey and his records show he originally enlisted as Private 7898 in the Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry before he was transferred to the 20th Battallion, The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 49498.

Norman died of wounds in a Field Ambulance on 06th July 1917 aged 26. 

He now rests at Railway Dugouts British Cemetery

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground is 2 Km west of Zillebeke village, where the railway runs on an embankment overlooking a small farmstead, which was known to the troops as Transport Farm.  Burials began there in April 1915 and continued until the Armistice, especially in 1916 and 1917, when Advanced Dressing Stations were located in the dugouts and the farm.  The names "Railway Dugouts" and "Transport Farm" were both used for the cemetery.  In the summer of 1917 a considerable number were obliterated by shell fire before they could be marked.  

Norman's grave was one such as the inscription on his headstone reads:


This phrase was decided upon by Rudyard Kipling and is used when the burial place of a soldier is not known. It is a biblical reference from Ecclesiasticus 44:13 which reads in full as: "Their seed shall remain forever, and their glory shall not be blotted out". 

His death was reported in the local press under the header:

Egremont Soldier Dies From Wounds

Official news has been received that Pte. Norman Birkhead, of the King’s Liverpool Regt., and formerly of the Lancashire Hussars Yeomanry, died from wounds on July 5, at the Field Ambulance, France. He was educated at the Old Bardsley School, Rake Lane, Liscard, and was formerly employed with Mr. C. Corry, butcher, Victoria Road, Seacombe, and a member of the Rake Lane P.S.A., Brotherhood. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Birkhead, 2, Mossy Bank Road, Egremont, and leaves a widow and two children to mourn his loss.

His death was reported in the Liverpool Echo on 18th July 1917


BIRKHEAD - July 5, aged 26 years, Private Norman Birkhead, the dearly beloved husband of Annie Birkhead, 2 Bisley Street, Liscard.

BIRKHEAD - July 5, aged 26 years, Private Norman Birkhead, the dearly loved and only son of Mr and Mrs G. H. Birkhead, 2 Mossy Bank Road, Egremont. (Sadly missed by all.)

Probate records show that he left estate to his widow Annie as follows:

BIRKHEAD - Norman of 2 Bisley Street, Liscard, Cheshire a private in the 20th battalion Liverpool Regiment died 6 July 1917 in France or Belgium. Administration Chester 18 December to Annie Birkhead, widow £467 5s.

Soldiers Effects and Pension to widow Annie

Norman is also commemorated on the Wallasey Civic Memorial.

Killed On This Day.

(102 Years this day)
Saturday 14th August 1920.
Pte 16017 Joseph Ellis
25 years old