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 1926 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.