GENT, Norman

No.14039, Lance Corporal, Norman GENT
Aged 32

8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 14th October 1916

Norman Gent was born in 1882 in Saxon Street (Newmarket Q4-1882 3B:502) baptised in Woodditton on 5th August 1883 (recording his birth as in 1883), the son of Joseph and Selina GENT (née FISHER).

1891 census...Aged 8, he was in Saxon Street, with his father Joseph GENT [55] a corn merchant; his mother Selina [49]; sisters Emma [30], Kate [21], Clara [19], Bertha [18], Ethel [15] and Aterline [12] and brother Hubert [10]. All were born in Saxon Street.

1901 census...Aged 18, he was in Saxon Street with his parents ( father a shopkeeper) and sisters Emma, Bertha and Ethel, and brother Joseph [32] (who was not with them for the 1891 census). For some reason there are no occupations given except for the head of the family. Place of birth for all is given as Woodditton.

1911 census... Aged 28, a butcher's assistant, he was in Saxon Street, with his widower father (retired farmer & dealer); sister Bertha and brothers Joseph hosier and outfitter's assistant, and Hubert ( a butcher). His mother died in 1904.

The pension card has his father at Rose Villa, Saxon Street

He enlisted in Newmarket.

His medal index card puts him in the 5th Battalion, whereas the CWGC and "Soldiers Died" have 8th. Since the 5th Suffolks never served in France, it may be that he was originally with the 5th for training before being shipped to France with the 8th battalion. The date on his medal card is the date of the 8th Battalion going to France. It is more than likely a clerical error having him in the 5th. In the absence of his service records, that is all we can hope to find. Etaples was a huge centre for general and stationary hospitals and the cemetery is the largest British cemetery in France.

The 8th Battalion of the Suffolks had been involved in the heavy fighting to take the Schwaben Redoubt at Thiepval at the end of September 1916 and then came out of the line, so it is highly probable that this is where Norman was injured.

photo Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Norman Gent is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France - grave 7:F:4A

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details