TROOPER CHRISTOPHER NORRIS
11TH SEPTEMBER 1917 AGE
BURIED: LILLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast -
Sleep has the ability to sort out the tangled threads of our lives, it provides us with relief from our troubles, it soothes our minds - as of course does death, although with death the 'solution' is permanent. The quotation comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth Act 2 Sc. 2. The words are spoken by Macbeth who, by murdering Duncan, fears he has murdered his ability to sleep and so will no longer be able to benefit from its soothing balm.
I can tell you very little about Trooper Norris. The War Graves Commission do not appear to have an age for him nor the details of his parents, neither their name nor their address. His inscription was chosen by a Miss MJ Norris of 76 Chapter Road, Cricklewood NW2 - a sister or an aunt perhaps. However, his medal roll index card tell us enough - he was entitled to the 1914 Star having arrived in France on 6 October 1914, and he died on 11 September 1917. The cause of death? "Suicide whilst temporarily insane". Trooper Norris's 'hurt mind' had been unable to find peace in this life and so he had chosen to end it.