Norman died on 4th November 2010, aged almost 86 years.

Sgt NR Thomas
Sgt NR Thomas

He was born on 20 March 1924 in Carmarthen, where he spent his early life and was educated at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. On leaving school he enlisted in the Army.

He enlisted into the General Service Corps on 3 December 1942 and was posted to 61st Training Regiment RAC. In January 1943 he was hospitalised at Catterick Military Hospital and then at Oaklands Hospital.

He was discharged from there on 25 June 1943, returning to 61st Training Regiment. He was posted to The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars on 24 January 1944. They, at that time, were stationed at West Tofts, Norfolk. He was present on the visit of His Majesty King George VI on 24 February 1944.

He embarked for North West Europe on 2 July 1944, catching up with the Regiment at La Butte, South East of Caen. He took part in the Regiment’s campaigns in North West Europe and in the Victory Parade in Berlin on 21 July 1945. He continued to serve with the Regiment in Moll, Itzehoe and, briefly in Lingen.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1 April 1945, returning to the UK for a gunnery course on 19 June 1945. He returned to the Regiment on 30 August and was promoted to Sergeant on 2 March 1946. He returned to the UK on 7 September 1946 and was released on 11 August 1947.

He joined the ‘Z’ Reserve on 12 August 1947 and The Shropshire Yeomanry for his Reserve Service. He was discharged from his Reserve liability on 30 January 1959.

He was awarded The 1939/45 and France and Germany Stars, The Defence Medal and The War Medal.

He married Florence on 20 March 1950 and had four children born between 1951 and 1968. He had ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

In civilian life, he joined the Ordnance Survey and worked for them until retirement in 1985. His work was mostly in Wales and the West Country.

He enjoyed gardening and world travel. A stroke in 2003 curtailed many of his activities, but not gardening. He became a widower in April 2010.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. North-West Europe 1944-45 timeline