One of the last surviving Normandy veterans, and a long-serving press photographer, has died at the age of 97. 

From snapping countless events along Norfolk’s coast to covering numerous emergencies, it is more than Norman Taylor’s photographs that leave a legacy of a life well spent.

Norman Leslie Taylor was born on Juy 31, 1925, in Marylebone, London. He was raised in the city before the family relocated to Watford, Hertfordshire.  

His father, a First World War veteran, moved his family to King’s Lynn in west Norfolk after he retired from the Metropolitan police. Here Mr Taylor finished his education and left school aged 14. 

His first job saw him stoking steam engines at a local sawmill before he was conscripted and joined the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) in 1943. 

Eastern Daily Press: Norman Taylor during the Second World War

Aged 18, he arrived in Normandy, France, three days after the D-Day landings which took place on June 6, 1944. 

Then, in October of the same year, his right arm was severely wounded during action in Holland, and he spent two years in hospital while undergoing pioneering surgery to rebuild it.  

After being demobbed in 1946, he returned to King’s Lynn and retrained as a photographer, beginning his career at the Lynn News. He later moved to work for the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and North Norfolk News (NNN). 

It was on a job in Cromer during the mid-1950s that he met his wife, Christine. He had been asked to photograph the aftermath of a fire at the launderette she worked at. 

The couple married during the 1960s and went on to have two sons; Paul (b.1961, d.2022) and Phil (b.1965). They lived their entire married life in West Runton. Mrs Taylor died in 2018. 

Mr Taylor continued to work as a photographer until his retirement during the 1970s. 

During his career, he was a regular at significant north Norfolk events with his twin lens Rolliflex and would process the images in the darkroom at the EDP offices, then on the corner of Mount Street and Corner Street in Cromer. 

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Norman Hicks, who worked with Mr Taylor at the Cromer office from 1972, said: "Throughout his busy career, Norman remained cheerful, approachable, and a consummate professional, always emerging from his dark room at the end of each day with a sheaf of photographs worthy of any high-class journal. 

“He was much-loved within the communities he served and will, I am sure, be missed by those who knew him then or remember his cheery smile and 'just one more' catchphrase from those days.” 

When the Norwich Normandy Veterans group was formed during the 1980s, Mr Taylor joined immediately and would take part in annual pilgrimages to France with his wife. 

Andrew Wright, of the Norwich Normandy Veterans, paid tribute on behalf of the organisation.  

He said: "It was a pleasure to be able to call you Norman a friend and help and share moments with him and Christine in Normandy where his part in the Liberation of Europe during the Second World War will never be forgotten." 

His son, Phil, added: “Dad was always very focused and took his work very seriously. 

“He was always running around taking photographs at all hours of the day and night, even when a call came in at unsociable hours. 

“He was always ready to work and always prepared to help people out. 

“He has a good sense of humour and we had such wonderful times.” 

Mr Taylor died on April 11 at his home since 2019, Halsey House Care Home in Cromer. As well as his son, he also leaves behind two grandchildren.

His funeral took place at Cromer Parish Church on May 15 and donations were raised for the Royal British Legion.