From Hoole History and Heritage Society

PINCHES, Norman Gordon

Regiment: 19th Bn King’s Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Pals)

Rank: Lance Corporal

Number: 21589

Died: 30 July 1916

Aged: 22

Buried/ Memorial: Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont

Address: 66 Lightfoot Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 19 August 1916


Pte SH Thomas, 17th Liverpool Pals; Pte CF Bath (?), 19th Liverpool Pals; Lance Corporal G. Pinches, 19th Liverpool Pals; and Lance Corporal FA Pierce, 17th Liverpool Pals.

We are now in a position to say how the above met their fate. One of the “pals” (Harry Foster) writes: - “We were in reserve for a week just behind the line waiting for out third attack. On the night of July 29th we moved up to our position just ahead and on the right of Trones Wood. Here we took up our position in the shell holes, just behind the 19th and dug ourselves in for safety, awaiting early morning when the advance was to commence at 4.45. We were in our stations, myself being with Ossy Eaves. Frank and his men quite near, also Sam’s gun team. We were under constant fire but not heavy, being mostly gas shells. It would be towards one or two o’clock when poor old Sam met his fate. Our sergeant had just given us our ration and gone to the shell hole where the gun team were and here, unfortunately, one gas shell found its mark, landing in the centre of the gunners. Poor lads, it wiped the whole of them out. It was a bad start for us, but at 4.45 the boys were up, into the mist they went, headed by our section commanders. We ploughed along taking shelter here and there, for they poured one continual rain of lead at us. We were suffering terrible losses, but the boys kept on. When we first started the attack I saw Frank leading his section. He was on our right, but he disappeared in the mist, his men following him with confidence. We kept pushing forward, and were then held up by a German advance trench (a strong point). Here we fought for three quarters of an hour, when the enemy saw their chance was hopeless. They downed arms, hands up, and cried like children for mercy. We took up our position in what was once a German trench, only three of us out of our section, our NCO, Ossy, and myself. Getting lost, we attached ourselves to the 19th. Here we met another of our pals who had also got lost. He was one of Frank’s section. Then he told us the terrible news. Frank was leading his section in the charge and unfortunately was shot through the heart. The sights were bad enough but the shock of losing Frank and Sam – well, I can’t describe my feelings – it’s heartbreaking. They were two fine fellows, so very popular in the company. And not only were they excellent soldiers but thorough gentlemen too. I shall always remember their true sport – a helping hand was always ready.