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Norman Gateley LoxtonChemist
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Norman Gatley Loxton.
Date and Place of Birth: July 1884. Ecclesall Bierlow, Derbyshire, Yorkshire – West Riding, United Kingdom.
Date and Place of Death: 6th April 1937, Sheffield, England.
Childhood: 1891 census: Norman, age 6, living with his mother, father and a servant in Nether Hallam, Sheffield. His father is recorded as ‘living on his own means.’ One brother may have been called David, based on an article from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph from the 18th January 1939. His brother may have been a Reverand.
1901 census: Norman, age 16, living with his parents, siblings, maternal grandmother and servant.
He had two brothers.
Parents: Thomas Gatley Loxton (1856-) and Laura Jane Sutton (1859-).
Parent’s occupations: in the 1901 Census it says that his father was a retired architect.
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:
Occupation: Metallurgical Chemist. ‘He joined the Royal Engineers and was with the Special (Chemists) Brigade for gas warfare, for which he was paid 3s per day’- from a relatives email to DPM, 29/03/21.
Iron and Steel works.
Place of residence at Gretna: N/A.
Job title at Gretna: No official title but says that he did specialised work in the Cordite department. Chemist.
Marital status: Married Azaline Dingle (1887-1970). In Pocklington, Yorkshire, England in 1910 according to England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005. But there is also a record, Yorkshire Marriages, which says they got married at Shiptonthorpe, Yorkshire (East Riding), England.
Children: He had one daughter with Azaline Dingle, private on Ancestry. May have had a son and two daughters.
Travels: After working at Gretna he went to Avonmouth, where mustard gas was being made. He was at Parkgate Iron Works for about 12 years and at the time when he received his OBE he was living in Leeds, according to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph.
Awards/recognitions: The Supplement to the London Gazette on the 7th of July 1920 claimed that he was rewarded: “For great courage in continuing to work in a poisonous atmosphere although repeatedly burned and gassed”. He got the Order of the British Empire for his services during World War One.
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 — Regiment or Corps: Royal Engineers, Regimental Number: 106121.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920: Name: Norman G Loxton, Military Year: 1914-1920, Rank: Corporal, Company: WO 329, Regiment or Corps: Royal Engineers, Regiment Number: 106121, Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Trivia / any other information:
Died at the age of 52. An article in the Sheffield Independent from 1937 says that his funeral was performed by his brother, “the Rev. E.H. Loxton”.
Also says that “Mr. Loxton left a widow, a son and two daughters”.
He is also referred to as being “a poison gas expert” and that he was wounded in France during the war.
It says that the Christmas before his death he had had an operation from which he never really recovered.
Probate record: ‘Loxton Norman Gateley of 158 Rural-lane, Sheffield, died 6 April 1937 at 10 Severn-road Sheffield Probate, Wakefield, 3 June to David Wortley Loxton, retired journalist and Ernest Reginald Loxton, congregational minister. Effects: £68. 2s. 4d.’
‘In 1919, he wrote to the paper to complain about the way chemists were treated, and compared his pay with a motor driver who would be paid 5s a day after just a few weeks training’- from relative’s email to DPM, 29/03/21.
‘He served in Loos in September 1915, where gas was first used by the Allies, and in his letter to the newspaper, he talked about the ‘fiasco’ of the gas attack, when the wind carried the gas back onto their own men, despite the chemists warning the officers of the dangers due to the wind’- from relative’s email to DPM, 29/03/21.