My great grandpa, Norman George Dale, was born on 7th March 1896 to Frederick Dale, a farmer, and his wife Martha. He was one of ten children, three sisters and seven brothers and the family lived happily at Oxheys Farm in Cheshire.
When the war broke out in 1914, two brothers, Harry and Fred, stayed at home to maintain the family farm; even when conscription was introduced in 1916 they was exempt from service as a result of their occupation.
The remaining brothers Sidney, Walter (32), Albert (23), Frank (21) and Norman (18) all fought in the war. While Norman was technically too young to serve overseas – the minimum age for this being nineteen – he lied about his age so he could fight beside Frank, as the two youngest brothers were inseparable. Walter, Albert, Frank and Norman all joined the Manchester Regiment; Albert in the 22nd Battalion, Walter in the 2nd/5th and Frank and Norman in the 2nd/6th.