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Norman was born in 1895, the eldest child of Donald MacAskill and Annie Morrison of Ferry. He was a pupil at Berneray School between 1902 and 1909. On leaving school he worked as a farm servant, living with his paternal grandparents at 23 Borve.
Norman was in active service during the Great War, but seriously ill by the end. Like his two closest brothers he was a piper. Later he worked as a deep sea Captain.
In 1921 he was living in Aberdeen and married widow Margaret Gray Stanbridge. She had a son from her first marriage and together they had two further sons before Norman’s death in 1925.