Flight Officer Norman Tilston

DFC Royal Canadian AirForce

A Tribute to Norman Tilston , Hamilton, Canada. WWII Halifax Bomber Pilot

RAF Lissett, Yorkshire. Born 15th August 1922 - Died 9th August 1954

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Knight of the Iron Bird

Author -

Stef Tilston Bate


A Norman Warrior                                                                                                                    Chapter 0ne

An Historical Article by ValleyStream Cultural Media

Flying Officer Norman "Snowy" Tilston DFC

Air Crew Photos

Know of Norman Tilston during the War or related to the Crew?

We would like to hear from you,


In ways his name is omenic - even Normanic, once you delve deeply into Tilston ancestry you will see why, but the name Norman was hardly chosen because of this. With young feet shaped over cobble stones, it's perhaps hard to digest, the Wigcan-adian possibly bore the noble bloodline of a Norman King - French ironman William the Conqueror and also of a Welsh Prince. History indicates a debatable link to Welsh warrior Einion ap Cadugan of Powys - meandering way back to 5th century Cunedda. All arguable for the historians and so called genie-experts.

A Memorial to my late Uncle Flying Officer Norman Tilston who steered saster chiriclo great iron birds over a foreign land to rid our nation from the evil dictator Adolf Hitler, threatening our free world. Other warriors cradled in the rear, dropped bombs from the belly and shot down enemy attackers to protect themselves. These brave navigators and sky fighters of World War II laughed and cried together - they also died together. Many never returned home. This is the legend of one fortunate bomber pilot who did, only to suffer a cruel twist of fate back in his adopted homeland. With acknowledgement to his fellow aircrew - This is his story.                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                Omani  Hum

The Children of Eynion De Tilston - Fairy tale & Fantasy?

The Tilston name is classified as rare by the guild of names, even today most "tilly" decendents live around Lancashire, Shropshire, Cheshire and the North Wales region, there's some in Yorkshire, London, and a trail of descendants across the Atlantic. America was a far away land to which the newly named Tillotson's skidaddled in the 1600s, but not before the butcherous Oliver Cromwell hung the head of the Tilston family for being a royalist fighting alongside the King. The 1881 census registers a mere 499 Tilston and other Tilly name mutations across the UK, hardly enough to fill a rugby stadium, more like the Tilston wedding hall. It's took nearly a 1000 years for the children of Eynion de Tilston to trundle this far into the 2000 millenium.





Young Norman left England in July 1926 on the S.S. Montrose at the age of four with mother Dora to join up with his father Thomas who'd left a year early, the family were making for a new life in Hamilton, Canada. Tom was a highly skilled steel worker and clever with metal, the draw of a fresh start with a Canadian steel company was a great temptation. However a decade later an unforeseen event revealed an evil face, this time in the aggressive fist of Adolf Hitler and another great war with the Germans. By Norman's 17th birthday whilst working in a local brush factory, fighting broken out across Europe, and the threat of invasion by the Nazi onto British soil may have tormented his mind. Just picture - Nazi soilders sacking and murdering across the streets of Lancashire. Concern for his native family was real, and probably played a key role in his willingness to fight for King and country, apart from one other fact? - these young lads, Canadian or British had little choice. Over the next few years, many courageous souls enrolled in the same Canadian sunlight, only to die under a European sky. We can only imagine their fears as they journeyed across the cruel Atlantic sea to fight for freedom. Something I,m afraid many of today's lost generation take for granted, bearing little thought for the mass sacrifice made by so many young boys.

Norman was born in Wigan, Lancashire, England, 15th August 1922. In early life as a Lancashire lad - he grew up amidst red terrace rows, coal miners and oily steel workers. Ince-Wigan is the true home of tripe and onions, rugby and the birth place of wrestling, a tough and proud lot having their own native tongue.

Hardly - ancient chronicals show it's true. The Domesday book mentions Tilston and other ancestral records show strong connections. One example is Eynion de Tilston of Tilston Cheshire, (Welsh spelt Einion) a Norman knight who it is said all Tilston families of this earth derive from. Eynion married Beatrix de Gernon, the 3rd-GGrandaughter of William the Conqueror and Matilda "Till" Flanders, another great krallis - King Henry 1st was Beatrix's  GGrandfather. This lineage travels back through great time to Rollo the jarl warrior and the noble viking jarls and kings to 160 AD.

You can read more on "The Children of Eynion De Tilston" in a new article shortly.

An "Iron Bird"- Halifax Bomber being armed

Tilston Family - Wigan  England mid 1950's

stef bw pic 1 norman smile hali arming 2 pic 3 til family wigan

Famlies of the Air Crew so far  Located  are:-


Tilston Family - UK

Smyth Family - Can

Sorsaster Family - Can

Carroll Family - UK


Still Unknown are :-


Robbins Family 

McMahon Family

Packer Family


If you are related to any of the unlocated Air Crew  or can assist with information on what happened to them after  WW2 please feel free to

contact :-

Gee - Co-Author 

and help remember these lads.



Diolch - Thank you.

RCMP article cover

Their True Story

Co-Author -

Graham "Gee" Bate