Norman Turner

Norman Turner
Norman Turner
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NORMAN Turner was Second World War veteran of Bomber Command who was decorated for his service.

He joined the RAF in 1942 straight from school flying as a wireless operator in Lancaster Bombers stationed in Lincolnshire, eventually gaining the rank of flight sergeant. He completed two operational tours, instead of the usual one of 30 operational sorties before they were rested as towards the end of the war he joined the Pathfinders, the target marking squadrons in Bomber Command. They were required to complete 45 sorties although Mr Turner went on to do more than 50.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and Bar, and had attained the rank of Warrant Officer by the end of the war.

Mr Turner, who has died at the age of 90, was born in Castleford. He was the eldest of five sons and a daughter born to Frank and Doris Turner. Their father worked at Thorne Colliery.

He was educated at Castleford Grammar School and after the war worked in local government, firstly for the council in his home town where he became chief clerk in the architect’s department.

Because the war had hampered his education, the only way he could gain promotion was to move to other areas. He went on to work for Rotherham council and Winsford, in Cheshire from where he eventually retired early.

He then returned to Yorkshire to live near his family in Wakefield, settling in Netherton.

During the war, he met Joyce Bushell who was working as an Army switchboard operator and they married in 1944 and had three sons.

Mr Turner was a keen cricketer and in his younger days played as an opening batsman variously for Glasshoughton, Thorne Colliery and Castleford. He later took up umpiring for several years in the South Cheshire and North Staffordshire League, and the Lancashire League but gave it up when teams imported players from abroad and the game became too professional at that level.

He took up bowls, and also played snooker at Horbury Conservative Club. For about 20 years, before he moved to Winsford, he was a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club but gave up his membership because he could no longer get to watch the county matches.

In retirement he gave talks locally about life in the RAF during the war.

Mr Turner is survived by two of his sons and a brother. His wife predeceased him in 1993 and his other son died five years ago. His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 28, at 1pm at Wakefield Crematorium.