109126 Pte. Norman Albert Gates was born to Fred and Eliza Gates on March 6th, 1888, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fred was a plumber and Norman got his trade by working with him. He also worked as a horseman and part time jockey.

While working with horses in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in 1907, Norman fell and fractured the right front parietal region of his skull.

Norman attested into the 4th CMR in Toronto on January 20th, 1915, and was assigned to "C" Squadron. He trained through to the summer of 1915, and with the regiment departed for Europe on the S.S. Hersperian on July 18th, 1915. After further training in England, the regiment departed for France on October 24th, 1915, and were soon within sound of the guns near Ypres.

It was during shelling of the front line and communication trenches, on July 14th, 1916, as the regiment was rebuilding its strength in the aftermath of the June 1916, 'Battle for Mount Sorrel', that Norman was buried by a shell that exploded behind him. In a Medical Board he was subsequently diagnosed with neurasthenia, due to concussion and shell shock. Considered unfit for service, it was recommended that Norman be discharged and to return to Canada.

Norman sailed from Liverpool to Canada on January 25th, 1917, aboard the S.S. Carpathian and he was struck off strength of the 4th CMR with a pension on May 31st, 1917.

Norman's brother, James, served in France with the 48th Highlanders subsequent to Norman's departure and just five days after being promoted to Lance Corporal, James was sadly lost in action at Vimy Ridge on April 9th, 1917. For bravery in the face of the enemy James received the Military Medal posthumously.

Biography credit Gretel Watts, Norman Gates' daughter.