James Normansell

James Normansell , born in 1830, was from Birmingham.

He appears to have traveled up the ranks of the Corps rather steadily, becoming a sergeant by at least 1858.

 Normansell travels to British Columbia on board the Thames City with the main body of the Columbia Detachment

There was Morey, too, and Rogerson,
And Lindsay cam' to join the fun,
An' Smith cam' ere the feast begun.

At Huthlicaut's weddin' O.
There was Normansell...

-- excerpt from "Huthlicaut's Wedding",
sung by Corporal Sinnett at a theatrical entertainment
on 4th March, 1859, on board the Thames City

Normansell lands at Queenborough and becomes a foreman for mixed units of Civilians and RE on various duties in the new Colony.

New Westminster, 12th September 1862


I venture on the liberty of again having Your Excellency in the matter of granting an extra Shilling per diem to Corporal Normansell RE the Senior Corporal of the Detachment

His conduct has throughout been most exemplary in every respect and he is charged with very heavy pecuniary responsibilities under Captain Grant.  The labor he goes through and the anxieties inseparable from the nature of his duties, I can assure you, merit the recognition and remuneration I ask for him.

In a recent interview Your Excellency kindly entered into an examination of the case so fully that I need not further trespass upon you for than to add that, since the former period when I moved you, one Royal Engineer has died and four have been sent to England, making a material reduction in the aggregate expenditure.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient, Humble Servant,

RC Moody, Colonel RE Commanding

 To James Douglas

Note on letter - Arrived 29th September acknowledge receipt of this letter and inform Colonel Moody that the extra shilling per diem to Corporal Normansell meets with my approval on assessment of the heavy colonial pecuniary responsibilities with which he is charged.

J Douglas

Normansell remains in the Colony when the Detachment is disbanded in 1863.

As a Corporal, Normansell's Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 2s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s. to 4s.

From 1863 to 1864, Normansell is a Serjeant in the newly created New Westminster Volunteer Rifle Corps.

Nov. 4, 1864, Normansell purchases 160 acres in Section 1, Block 5 North, Range 1 East, New Westminster District..

In March of 1865, Normansell is appointed Constable for Wild Horse Creek.

In June of 1865, Normansell was made Chief Constable, Kootenay.  He served there till 1871.

On March 5, 1871 received Crown Grant, for Section 2, Block 5 North, Range 2 West, New Westminster District, 70 acres purchased with Second Corporal Peter Leech, RE.

As Walter Moberly's surveying team  'S' party leaving civilization in 1871, it passed through Normansell's territory and he came in contact with an old friend from the Columbia Detachment, Robert Rylatt.

14 September 1871 - At Wild-Horse creek I came upon an old friend, "James Normansell" and we spent a few happy hours together.  Dear "old Jim", he was then constable at Wild-Horse.  We had gone through many ups and downs together, were together through the Crimean War, belonged to the same company of Sappers at Shorncliffe in England, came to British Columbia together, and spent our five years in the Royal Engineers, and taking our discharge together, finally went our separate ways.  The last I heard of my old Chum, he was in the far North attached to the Hudson's Bay Company.  Jim was a Birmingham man.

17 November 1871 - ... I had a nice improved Winchester Rifle in the tent, which I prized, as it was a gift from my old friend Jim Normansell...

May 2nd 1872 - My time honoured friend, Jim Normansell, writes me from Wild Horse Creek, stating he has noticed I have had no letters from my wife (Jim is Post Master among his other duties).

30 June 1872 - On the 10th June a Mail arrived, but brought no letter for me.  Jim Normansell sent me a couple of papers from Wild Horse, and a few lines telling me not to be downhearted.  He is now in the service of the Provisional Government and is Collector of Customs at Jospeh's Prairie and for which place and duties he was just setting out.

-- From the Journal of Robert Rylatt.

In 1880?, Normansell appears to be a Labourer at Glenora Landing.

On October 14, 1884, Normansell died at the Royal Hospital, Victoria.

Vital Event Death Registration

Name: James Normansell
Event Date: 14 Dec 1884
Age: 54
Gender: male
Event Place: Victoria
Reg. Number: 1884-09-003030
B.C. Archives Microfilm Number: B13077
GSU Microfilm Number: 1927287