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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Norman Percy Shepherd-Turneham, 6th Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Captain Norman Percy Shepherd-Turneham, 6th Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, was killed in the trenches near Thiepval in France.

He was the third son of Alderman E L Shepherd, a member of the governing body of Abingdon School, which Captain Shepherd-Turneham and his brothers attended. On leaving school he was articled to his cousin, Mr. JH Badcock, MRCS, LRCP, a dentist with a practice in Harley Street in London, and in 1901 qualified as a dental surgeon at Guy’s Hospital. He had been a keen Association Football player, playing for his school as well as Guy’s Hospital, the United Hospitals team, and the Crouch End Vampires. For some years he was captain of the Hastings Football Club.

At the outbreak of the Great War he left his dental practice to volunteer for army service, and was commissioned into the Yorkshire Regiment. In September of 1915 his regiment went to the Dardanelles and remained until the evacuation, Captain Shepherd-Turneham being one of the last to leave. He spent some time in Mudros and then Egypt before being sent to France, by which time he had been promoted to Captain.

On the day of his death he had successfully led his company in an attack on the German trenches near Thiepval. As he sat on the step of a German dug-out, writing his report, he was instantly killed by a high-explosive shell. His commanding officer said of him: “He will be greatly missed by all the officers and men as he was so popular with them. I shall very much feel his loss as he was one of my most capable Company Commanders and a man I could always rely on, besides personally being a great friend of mine.” He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme in France, as well as the war memorial at Guy’s Hospital.

Norman, from Abingdon, was 38 years old and married.

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