Daniel Britton Norman was born in Yeovil, Somerset, in early 1891, the youngest of four children. Joseph and Eliza Norman, Daniel’s parents, ran the Blue Ball Inn in the town centre, something Eliza took over when her husband died.
There is little information on Joseph’s passing, but a report in the local newspaper may allude to what led to his death:
On Friday [16th January 1891], Mr J Norman, of the Blue Ball Inn, was riding in a waggon through the Borough when he was jerked off onto the road. One of the wheels passed over his right leg, breaking a vein.Western Chronicle: Friday 23rd January 1891
By the time of the 1911 census, Eliza too had given up the reins of the Blue Ball Inn. At the age of 59, she was living with her two sons in a house on the outskirts of the town; Daniel was listed as a motor mechanic, while his older brother Rowland was a cabinet maker.
War broke out and Daniel enlisted in April 1916. He joined the Royal Army Service Corps and was assigned to the Motor Transport Division. Based in London, Private Norman had received three weeks’ training, when he was taken ill.
Admitted to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich with cerebro-spinal meningitis, Private Norman quickly went downhill. He died in the hospital on 26th May 1916, aged just 26 years old.
Brought back to Yeovil, Daniel Britton Norman was buried in Yeovil Cemetery, alongside his father.