Poppy Norman Taylor SMITH (1895–1917) Poppy

Norman Smith

Norman Taylor Smith was born in Aberdeen on 6 April 1895. He was the son of Robert Smith (born in Tarver, Aberdeenshire in c.1866) and Grace Ann Sutherland Taylor (born in St Nicholas’s parish, Aberdeen in c.1868).

His parents were married in c.1889 and had two children, both born in Dee Village Road (St Nicholas’s parish), Aberdeen:

  • Robert Taylor Smith (born on 22 March 1892)
  • Norman Taylor Smith (born on 6 April.1895).

The family moved down to Oxford in the late 1890s and in 1899 Norman’s father Robert started work as Foreman of W. Lucy & Co., a job he was to hold for forty years.

At the time of the 1901 census Norman (5) was living at 26 Christ Church New Buildings, St Thomas, Oxford with his mother Grace (32), who was described as the wife of an iron contractor, and his brother Robert (9). His father was not at home on census night.

Norman attended the Central Boys' School in Gloucester Green.

In about 1909 Norman’s parents moved to 55 Kingston Road in St Margaret’s parish, and both their sons went to work for Lucy’s.

The 1911 census shows Norman (15), described as an engineer’s pattern maker, living at 55 Kingston Road with his father Robert (44), described as a foundry engineer, and his mother Grace (42). Norman’s brother was not at home.

Poppy In the First World War Norman Taylor Smith served as a Serjeant in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 1359). He was killed in action in France at the age of 21 on 23 July 1916, and is buried in the Pozières British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boiselle (I.C.31): his parents paid for the words SO LOVED, SO MOURNED to be added to his headstone. He is remembered here on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford, and on the war memorial of the Central Boys' School.

Norman’s older brother, Robert Taylor Smith joined the Royal Flying Corps as an Engineer/Blacksmith and was part of a mobile unit of blacksmiths who travelled around the battlefields repairing crashed aircraft and getting then back into action. He survived the war.

St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Norman’s parents
  • Robert Smith retired from W. Lucy & Co. in 1939, and continued to be listed in Kelly’s Directory at 55 Kingston Road until 1952. He died in Oxford at the age of 85 near the end of that year.
  • Grace Ann Sutherland Taylor Smith was listed at 55 Kingston Road in 1954 only, and died in Oxford at the age of 85 that year.
Norman’s brother
  • Robert Taylor Smith went back to Lucy’s after the First World War, and in 1939 was living at 36 Juxon Street with his wife Mary and described himself as a millwright machine tool fitter at Lucy's. Soon afterwards he went to work at the New Bodleian Library as the Head Engineer, where he looked after the heating systems and the conveyor belts that went between the Old and New Libraries. He retired in 1960, and was then living in Southmoor Road. He died in Oxford in 1976.

See also

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