D-Day veteran who broke up with fiancee over painful war memories to marry her 70 years later

Roy Vickerman returned from the war suffering from PTSD and 'wanted to be alone'

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 06 April 2016 10:05
Nora Jackson and Roy Vickerman reunited after 70 years apart
Nora Jackson and Roy Vickerman reunited after 70 years apart

A D-Day veteran who jilted his childhood sweetheart because of his wartime trauma has proposed to her 70 years later - and she said yes.

Roy Vickerman, from Hartshill, Staffordshire, was helped to find Nora Jackson’s address by a local radio DJ after he called the show to talk about his lost love.

The 90-year-old then went to her home with a bouquet of flowers to apologise for breaking off their engagement in 1946 but told the taxi driver wait outside for a few minutes as he did not know if she was married to someone else, Mail Online reports.

Roy and Nora during the war (BBC Midlands Today)

Instead, the widowed Ms Jackson, 89, threw her arms around him and a year on the couple celebrated their second engagement at Mr Vickerman’s 90th birthday party.

The couple first met at school when Mr Vickerman was evacuated from London to Ms Jackson’s hometown of Stoke on Trent.

He said when he arrived at the school, he stood at the front of the class and noticed a “pretty girl”.

When he saw her again later at a local hotel where she was with a group of friends, he asked her out on a date.

A short while later the couple became engaged but Mr Vickerman, then 18, was called up to fight in the war.

He took part in the D-Day landings in June 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge - one of the biggest and deadliest battles of the war which lasted six weeks between December 1944 and January 1945 and cost around 110,000 Allied casualties.

When Mr Vickerman returned the couple resumed their relationship but it soon broke down again as he was suffering from what would now be diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He told BBC Midlands Today: “I just wanted to be on my own, I called off the engagement.

“And Nora was very, very good. She was a lady and she sent the ring back to me.”

Both moved on with their lives and later married other people and had children but now Ms Jackson is wearing the original ring Mr Vickerman used to propose all those years ago.

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