Family story contributed by Brian Gudgeon
Norman Frank Andrews was born in June 1898, to Leonard Frank Andrews and Annie Andrews (nee Chitty), on the Isle of Wight. The family had moved to Russ Hill Road Cottage Charlwood, Surrey, by the time of the 1901 Census, later moving to Russ Hill Farm.
He enlisted at Horsham in February 1917, aged 18, with ‘D’ Battery, 52nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, serving as a Gunner. After a few months of training, he was sent to France, where he was killed in action a year later in September 1918. An obituary appeared in the Surrey Mirror & County Post on 27 September 1918:
News has reached Mr and Mrs L F Andrews, of Russ Hill Farm, Charlwood, that their only son, Gunner Norman Frank Andrews, of the Royal Field Artillery, has fallen in action during the recent advance on the Western front. It appears that he was standing with his section officer and several of his comrades when a shell burst right by them, a fragment striking Norman Andrews on the head, killing him instantaneously. His section officer and the others were all wounded. Deceased, who was 20 years of age last June, joined up for military service in February 1917; was drafted out to France in September of last year; was killed on [3 September*] 1918. The burial took place in the little cemetery behind the lines. An officer, writing to his sorrowing parents, says: “I have known your son ever since he joined the battery and can truthfully say that he was one of the most efficient gunners we had. He always did his duty well and faithfully, and as a man was popular both with officers and men, His loss will be felt by all who knew him.
*Actually 5 September 1918
Norman’s friends also wrote to express their sorrow at his death; the refer to his buoyancy of spirit, his friendliness, and willingness to help at all times. He had many friends in Charlwood, his bright, cheery disposition making him a general favourite in all circles. He is buried in Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, France, and is commemorated on the war memorial at St Nicholas Church, Charlwood, and on the Roll of Honour in the church.