Norman Charles Armitage signed up on this day in 1915. He was born in Lindsay, Ontario, the son of Elias Armitage and Hattie (née Fryer) on October 25th, 1896. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family were living in Deseronto, where Norman attended the High School. The picture above was taken in 1914 when Norman was a member of the Deseronto Fire Team.
On enlisting at Kingston, Armitage was five feet six and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair. He gave his occupation as ‘Clerk’. His regimental number was 89750 and he joined the 26th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His service record shows that he arrived in England on August 18th, 1915 and initially was assigned to the 7th Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery, stationed in Westenhanger, Kent. In May 1916 he went to France and served with the 3rd Divisional Trench Mortar Battery and the 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column.
He had trench fever in December 1917, which left him weakened and suffering from dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath. In March 1918 he was examined by a medical board which recommended that he be invalided to Canada. He arrived back in Halifax on July 3rd on the RMS Empress of Britain and was discharged in Kingston on August 9th, 1918 as medically unfit for further service.
Norman Armitage married Kathleen Maracle on January 27th, 1923 in Windsor, Ontario. They had four children (their son Robert was killed while serving with the Canadian Navy in the Second World War). Norman died on February 21, 1976 in Napanee Hospital. He was buried in Deseronto Cemetery.