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Norman Wyles Bones
1899 - 1919

Norman Bones
By a member of his extended family
When conscription was introduced in 1916, Conscientious Objectors were required to attend a tribunal to assess the sincerity
of their claims. The Tribunal panel was made up of local government
officials and retired military officers and they were often not sympathetic to the claimant's views. The Bones family were Strict
Methodists, but were prepared to serve as noncombatants and put on military uniforms. Norman didn't become old enough for conscription
until January 1918, when the tribunal system was well in force. He was trained in the Army Reserves as a noncombatant and sent to France
on June 11th. He spent the next month sick at base in Etaples, Pas de Calais, with either measles or flu. He finally transferred to the Queens
West Surrey Regt. On 12th July and went to the Somme region. He was only in the front lines for about a month, before being wounded in
action on 24th August. He was most likely a stretcher-bearer, especially as his wounds were below the knee. He would not have been exposed
to rifle fire so low if he was just a food-carrier, etc. (when he would be shielded in the trenches.) As a stretcher-bearer, he would have had to go into
no man's land to collect wounded, where he would be exposed to rifle fire. The wounded had to limp or be carried to the
Regimental Aid Post in the front lines. Their next call was to the Field Dressing Station, (Norman went to 55th Field Ambulance) and then
sent to a Field Hospital or Casualty Clearing Station. They were put on a Hospital Train to a Hospital Ship across the Channel and eventually to one of
the many Hospitals in Britain. Many Hospitals were just parts of country homes, given over to the vast demand for beds. Norman was sent
to Fort Pitt Military Hospital in Chatham Kent in January 1919 for a medical after his wounds had healed. He was transferred to the Army
Reserve on 15th February. His medical states that "Wound healed, full movement in all joints" "The board find that the soldier has suffered NO
impairment in health since his entry into the services." However, he was suffering from 'Pthesis' or Tuberculosis and died on 19th June, Just four
months later. His family spoke of him dying from the results of being gassed. He could have been exposed to gas when he was wounded, and kept
quiet about his lung condition, to avoid being kept in military hospital?? Alternatively, he caught TB while in the army and this could have been
why he was ill in June 1918? The medical board would have been eager to release him from their care too, so his cough was ignored. There is an
entry in his medical records for 'making a claim for 'Pthesis' on 28th May when his condition must have been deteriorating, so the military
authorities did eventually accept responsibility for his medical care. He died at his parents home, Holly Hill Chilham Lees after"six weeks
for Patient suffering." Relatives told of his patient but painful suffering during his last days, coughing his lungs up.

His name was not engraved on the local war memorial(because he died in 1919) This grieved his family, but he is listed as a war casualty with the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission. His father attached the bullet that had been removed from Norman's leg to a watch chain
and wore it in his breast pocket.

Known events of Norman's life
between 1914 - 1918

He worked as a Traction Engine Driver's Mate with his father.
19 Jan 1918 Conscripted into Army at Canterbury Kent.
Chose Noncombatant role. Norman would have been required to attend a tribunal
as a Conscientious Objector to gain his Noncombatant status.
11 Jun 1918 Sent to France with Reserves of the British Expeditionary Force.
16 Jun 1918 Transferred to Segregation Camp, as Measles Suspect.
21 Jun 1918 "Influenza" Etaples, France.
30 Jun 1918 Sent to Depot Segregation Camp. J Depot.
9 Jul. 1918 Rejoined Y Segregation Camp
12 Jul. 1918 'Dog Tag' No. changed from 38522. Noncombatant. Transferred
at Etaples to Queen's West surrey Regiment
19 Jul. 1918 Joins No 5 Infantry Section, 6th Battalion, Queen's West Surrey
regiment at the Front Lines(Somme) Attached to 37th Brigade 12th Division.
(Most likely as a Stretcher Bearer)
24 Aug. 1918 Wounded in Action. "Gun wound in right leg." "Large flesh
wounds above right calf and in popliteal space.(Below back of knee) Sutured - no
bone or nerve injury." (And gassed?) near Albert Somme.
27 Aug. 1918 Sent to 55th Field Ambulance.
28 Aug. 1918 Transferred via Rouen to Hospital Ship and back to England."BEF
Service 79 days"
15 Jan 1919 Medical at Fort Pitt Military Hospital, Chatham, Kent. "Wound
healed, Full movement in all joints." "The Board find that the soldier has suffered
no impairment in health since his entry into the services." (?!)
18 Jan 1919 Discharged from Fort Pitt.
15 Feb. 1919 Transferred to Class "Z" Army Reserve. Demobilized.
16 Feb. 1919 Tuberculosis/Pthesis Aggressive 100%
28 May 1919 "Must make usual claim under Article 9 for Pthesis."
19 Jun 1919 Died at home, (Chilham Lees Canterbury Kent) aged 19 "after 6
weeks of patient suffering."
Actions of 37th Brigade, 12th Division - August 1918
8th - 11th Aug. 1918 Battle of Amiens.
21st - 23rd Aug. 1918 Battle of Albert. Incl.Capture of Chuignes.(First
phase of the Second Battle of the Somme 1918)