Norman Vincent Dagg was born 19 December 1897 in Houghton-le-Spring, Druham, England, making him younger than most of the first generation of Forteans—the Founders and their contemporaries—but older than Thayer. There’s a German reference to him as “Nell” and some science fiction studies reference him as William: this seems to be a misinterpretation of his signature, the N. V. looking like Wm., for William. Professionally, he was known as N. V. (I’m not sure if he recognized the initials as a homonym.) His father, Thomas, was a coal miner, according to the 1901 Census of England. His mother was Florence Charlton. He had four siblings, Dora, William, John, and Thomas, all younger. By 1911, Thomas (then 38) had moved into management and was an Assistant Superintendent of Assurance, which presumably meant he had moved into the insurance business.
I have no information on Dagg’s childhood, and the access to England’s records from where I live are marginal. So I have no idea where he went to school, or what his life might have been like. His parents were religious, at least officiously, having baptized him in January of 1898; Anglican, I assume. He joined World War as part of the Royal Scots (Lothian Division), 9th Battalion—the Highlanders. They were in France by February 1915 and were part of the horrible trench warfare there, involved in the various battles of the Somme as well as other parts of the war that ground men into meat. A private, he received two metals. I am not sure which parts of the war Dagg fought in, exactly, or how long he served. But likely it wasn’t pleasant.