b. 26/12/1890 Birmingham. d. 15/03/1966 Portsmouth.
Finch was born 26 December 1890 in Birmingaham. He signed on to the Royal Marines in January 1908 and received basic training at Eastney. For the next four years he served on various ships and shore stations and in June 1913 was promoted to Bombadier and this was soon followed by further rises to Corporal in 1915 and Sergeant in 1917. He joined the 4th Battalion on 23 March 1918. He was 27 years old, and a sergeant in the Royal Marine Artillery, Royal Marines during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 22/23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Sergeant Finch was second in command of the pom-poms and Lewis gun in the foretop of HMS Vindictive. At one period Vindictive was being hit every few seconds, but Sergeant Finch and the officer in command kept up a continuous fire, until two heavy shells made direct hits on the foretop killing or disabling everyone except Sergeant Finch who was, however, severely wounded. Nevertheless he remained in his battered and exposed position, harassing the enemy on the Mole until the foretop received another direct hit, putting the remainder of the armament completely out of action. His award was by virtue of ballot.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL MARINES MUSEUM, SOUTHSEA, HAMPSHIRE.
BURIAL PLACE: PORTCHESTER CREMATORIUM, HAMPSHIRE. ASHES SCATTERED SECTION 3
Norman Finch's memorial at St Andrew's Church, Eastney, Hampshire.
Norman Finch's medals on display at the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea, Hampshire. (Picture: Thomas Stewart).
Finch with the Vickers Gun he used on the Zeebrugge Raid
Hall of Memory, Birmingham (Feb 2016)
Freemasons Memorial (Brian Drummond)