Sunday’s Obituary – Norman Thornton (1912-1937)

Norman Thornton is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are Thomas Gawthrop Thornton and Ellen Quinliven. Our common ancestors are my 3x great parents Martin Gawthrop and Ann Kighley.

Norman was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire – his birth is registered in the September quarter of 1912.

I don’t have any information about Norman until his marriage to Mary Burland in Sheffield sometime in the September quarter of 1935.

I recently found the following report in the Sheffield Independent on 22 May 1937

Norman Thornton - 22 May 1937.png

GAS SUICIDE

Pincers Used To Turn Bracket Tap

Suicide during a state of depression due to domestic unhappiness, was the verdict given by Mr Alan P Lockwood, Sheffield Deputy Coroner, on Norman Thornton (24), grocers’ assistant, who was found gassed at his home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Thornton, who was employed at Glossop Road branch of Sheffield and Ecclesall Co-operative Society, had not been at work this week. The branch had been closed Monday and Tuesday, since when Thornton had not been seen.

Thomas Thornton, 63 Ronksley Road, Shiregreen, said that his son was married in September, 1935, but they had not been happy. They had been separated, but came together again five months ago. His son’s wife had been in a convalescent home for the past fortnight.

Police-sergt, W Parnham said he went with the last witness to his son’s house, and by means of a ladder got to the bedroom. He found the young man dead. He had a flexible gas pipe in his mouth, connected to a gas bracket. Near him were a pair of pincers which he had evidently had to use to turn the tap on.

A sad end to a short life and what seems like an unhappy marriage.

I haven’t yet been able to find what happened to Norman’s wife Mary.

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