OBITUARY OF NORMAN BEARD; Killed in action, World War II .

Obituary by R A B Wood

Howard Norman Beard, known as Norman, was born in Swinton in 1916. His only sibling, a sister, died in infancy. The family moved to Blackpool in the early 1920's, where his mother ran a boarding house in South Shore, and his father had a decorating business. His parents separated and Norman lived with his mother on Queen Victoria Rd, Blackpool, but kept in touch with his father in Skegness. His father became a wealthy businessman and close associate of Billy Butlin, the holiday camp entrepreneur.

After attending Sacred Heart School, Talbot Rd, at the age of 7 years, Norman moved to St. Joseph's College, Blackpool. He performed well enough at St. Joseph's to obtain the post of articled clerk in a Blackpool firm of solicitors. He supplemented his income with part time work at the Co-op and represented the Co-op football team, who won the 1935-1936 Junior Fylde League.

He was a regular parishioner, with his mother, at St. Joseph's Church, Bela Grove, Blackpool.

He had a great interest in the RAF and postponed his legal career to join in 1938 as an observer, and was in Bomber Command. By the time of the Battle of Britain, he had been promoted to sergeant. Tragically, his Blenheim Bomber crashed on take off on 4th August 1940. He was killed.

His remains are buried at Layton Cemetery, Blackpool with a military headstone. His mother, Emily, is buried in the same grave. She died in 1974. His name is on the Old Boys Memorial, now at English Martyrs, High Cross, Poulton and at Biggin Hill.

'They gave their todays for our tomorrows'. RIP.

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