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Norman Whisker (1899-1978)

Stanley coal miner served as an ordinary seaman in the Royal Navy

Norman Whisker was born in Stanley in 1899. His father was John Whisker (1868-1908), a colliery horse-keeper who was born in Whitehaven, Cumberland. His mother was Isabella Whisker nee Carr (b 1871), a coal miner’s daughter from West Pelton. His parents married in Chester-le-Street in 1887 and had six known children giving Norman four brothers and one sister, who died in infancy. In 1901 the Whisker family lived at 22 Middle Street, Stanley. Norman’s father died in 1908 and by 1911 the family had moved to 9 Shafto Terrace, Shield Row. Norman was living with his mother and his four brothers. Norman’s three older brothers were all working as miners.

Norman joined the Royal Navy on 7 May 1918 to serve for the duration of hostilities, first serving on HMS Victory I. He had been working as a coal miner in civilian life. He was rated an ordinary seaman and given the service number J88499. He was demobilised to shore on 5 February 1919 and awarded the British War Medal for his service in World War One. Norman’s older brother Roland also served during the First World War as part of the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry.

After the war, Norman returned to County Durham. He married Lydia Whisker nee Gedling (b 1907) in the Lanchester registration district in 1925. She was a coal miner’s daughter from New Kyo. By 1935 the couple had moved to Harrow, where Norman worked as a labourer. The couple had at least one child; Terence Whisker born in 1930. Norman died in County Durham in 1978 at the age of 79.

Civil Parish: Tanfield

Birth date: 07-Mar-1899

Death date: 1978

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: 22 Middle Street, Stanley (1901 census)
9 Shafto Terrace, Shield Row (1911 census)

Education: East Stanley Council School

Employment: Coal miner (1918 Royal Navy service record)

Family: Parents: John Whisker (1868-1908), Isabella Whisker nee Carr (b 1871)
Siblings: John Robert Whisker (b 1889), Selina Whisker (1890-1893), Samuel Whisker (b 1893), Roland Valentine Whisker (b 1897), John Carr Whisker (b 1904)
Spouse: Lydia Whisker nee Gedling
Children: Terence Whisker

Military service:

Ordinary Seaman
HMS Victory I

Medal(s): British War Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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