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Norman Lee

May 25, 1918 Enfield Middlesex - August 11, 2002 Clacton on Sea

Norman Lee at Loch Ness, when he saw Nessie

Obituary by Major Alan Aggett from the Salvation Army

Derek Norman Lee was born in Enfield ,  May 1918

His Father Edwin was a successful Gold Medal Piano Maker until the 1914 18 War all but destroyed his business.

Norman s upbringing different from most children he never had traditional toys but was encouraged to grow vegetables and look after animals, and to carry out scientific experiments.   Norman was greatly influenced by Mr Tucker a piano tuner who worked with his father and whom he always referred to as his tutor.   Mr Tucker had been blinded in a boiler room explosion on a steam boat  in the China Sea but despite this was able to work as a piano tuner and to pass on stories of his exploits and his wealth of knowledge.   Norman describes how on Sundays after lunch they experimented with a couple of old gramophone records with leather pads attached, and fixed on an axle to generate electricity.   Since then Norman has always had a fascination for the source and uses of electricity.   Because of his eccentric upbringing Norman developed an enquiring mind but like many of his generation was not able to go on to higher education.   He tried to understand the workings of the human body and often argued with his Doctor and disagreed with much scientific research.


Leaving school at 14 Norman went to work at Acme in Enfield , and there he stayed for fifty years.   He met his wife Iris in a Spiritualist Church and they were married for 46 years until her death three years ago.   Although they had planned on a large family,  sadly they were unable to have any children.   Iris was a very talented Dressmaker passing on her skills to many others, including Audrey with whom she maintained a 50 year friendship culminating in them both retiring from Enfield to Clacton.   Audrey regularly visited and helped Norman during the difficult years of widowhood and sadly is unable to be here today because her own husband Ken suddenly died within days of Norman .


Norman has just one surviving relative, a cousin in New Zealand , Dr Donald King with whom he corresponded regularly and who is currently in Norway en route to visit Norman ..  

As well as Norman s interests in science he was a keen gardener, enjoyed model making and other crafts. He also showed great interest in the progress of a number of young people known to him. A generous man Norman supported a number of Charities including Horse Rescue, Seeing Dogs for the Blind, and the Hospice.

He maintained his early interest in the Paranormal,  and firmly believed that there is some form of communication between the Spirits and us.   He experimented with Electronic Voice Phenomena which involved leaving tape recorders on throughout the night to pick up supernatural sounds and was convinced that he succeeded.   Always active and with his enquiring and open mind, for Norman nothing was impossible and everything merited his time and thought.  


In the last few months as he declined physically Norman was aware that death was just around the corner but this did not trouble him. Less than 48 hours before his death he was asking for a notepad and pen to record his time in the hospital

Norman was fiercely independent; his home was called Lee Way

which  means I do it my way, the Lee Way !!!

he very much appreciated all the help he received from his friends and neighbours, Home Help Service and the Nursing staff.   

Loch Ness    

Perhaps one of the highlights of Norman s life was in 1970, when on holiday in Scotland with his wife he saw Nessie the Loch Ness Monster.   He recorded that moment in great detail, took photos and shared his sighting with local researchers.

  the loch was calm and on my left I could see a row of dark round patches which I thought were blow holes caused by the warm water coming up from under the loch..   My eyes wandered to the centre of the loch.   I spotted a large V shaped wash that seemed to be touching both banks.   Looking at the point of the V I saw an object the size of a small boat.   I put my hand in my pocket and took out my small Rom Royal view glasses.   I had never seen anything like it; an ape like head, grey and furry and then it dived out of sight.   I looked again and this time saw what I thought was an oak coloured log, that seemed to be at least sixty feet long.   I ran to the car and got my camera, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the object rise out of the water.  It cast a shadow which looked very large and terrifying.   The neck was slender and round,  and as long as the body.   The back was firm and slightly arched divided into about twenty arcs the centre one being larger than the rest.   I had a job to pull  out the front of my camera in my excitement,  and when I had done so I put the camera over my head, to miss the trees   took a chance and pulled the shutter lever hoping for the best.   I was trembling all over, knowing I had seen something but what???


Norman continued to read all he could about Loch Ness and visited again to meet and exchange notes with Tim Dinsdale who was so convinced that Nessie existed that he had given up his job and spent twenty years trying to prove her existence.  Norman widened his interest to include  the geological features and the possibilities of there being a system of underground caverns in that part of Scotland which could be the home of mysterious creatures of the deep, perhaps left over from a previous era. 


Legend has it that in 565 AD St Colomba rescued a man who was being attacked by a monster in Loch Ness.  Over the centuries there have been periodic sightings but none seriously recorded until the 20th Century.   Photos have been taken, some possibly hoaxes, Sonar Sweeps of the Loch have been made and mini submarines have been used to try and find Nessie.    There is still no proof that Nessie exists, but on the other hand the Loch is big enough and deep enough to hide such a creature.   It is impossible for just one creature to have survived for centuries sand so there must be a breeding population  and so the myth lives on.


Thirty years later Norman decided to hand over his notes, photos, drawings and models so that they could be preserved after his death.  Lois Wickstrom from Pennsylvania a Loch Ness Researcher was contacted and thrilled to receive all this information which as she said was written so convincingly that she felt she was sharing the experience.   Lois put all the information including photos and original drawings into a Web Book crediting Norman as the author. This book has been downloaded by at least 500 people around the world, which means that neither the name of Norman Lee nor this work which meant so much to Norman will ever be erased

African Connection

Norman and his cousin Donald were involved in tracing their family history,

and Norman was sure that one of his ancestors, Thomas Gambier,  possibly an African Witch Doctor sailed into Plymouth from Africa in 1638. He tried to get further information from the Plymouth records office but the records only date back to 1700. He even asked friends to search the web but he was unable to prove his theory.  But it was his theory, he believed it and hence his interest in Africa .