A man has been given a second chance at love by fate after splitting from his fiancée 70 years ago as a result of the trauma he suffered in the Second World War.
90-yr-old war veteran, Roy Vickerman, called off his engagement to now 89-yr-old Nora Jackson in 1946 as he struggled to adjust to civilian life after he was wounded by a Nazi sniper.
He finally reunited with his first love 70 years later after discovering with the help of a local radio station, she lived just two miles away from him. Roy said he regretted his decision to breakup and wanted to apologize.
The continued their romantic relationship from where they left off in the 1940s after discovering their partners had died. Roy proposed to Nora on his 90th birthday with the same engagement ring he gave her 72 years ago.
“I thought, I won’t go round because of her husband. “I didn’t know if she was still married and I didn’t want to upset anything.
“I thought about it for a week. I got into a taxi with a big bunch of flowers and I told the driver to wait for me. I said I would only be a couple of minutes. “She had no idea I was coming round. When I rang the doorbell I saw Nora through the curtains.
“She came to the door and said ‘Oh, Roy’. She put her arms around me and gave me a kiss and said ‘Hold me’.” That moment was fantastic. Four hours later I had to tell the taxi driver I was staying.
“I’ve lived in the same house for 40 years and Nora’s been in her home for 40 years. We use the same shops and even go to the same chiropodist but in all that time we’ve never bumped into each other. I see her every day now,” Roy, a grandfather of two spoke of their emotional reunion.
“It’s a really lovely story, there’s no doubt about it.
“It’s so clear in my mind. I heard the bell and I opened the curtain a little bit. I was so taken aback.
“I knew him straight away but I never thought I would see him again. He had changed a lot but I could still recognize him.
“We put our arms around one another and we went into the living room and sat and talked for hours.
“It was a shock to see him because it had been such a long time but it was lovely. It was just like old times.
“I did think about him over the years, in fact I dreamed about him a few times,” the emotional Nora said.
The elderly couple first met in school in 1940 and got engaged in 1944 at 18, about a week before Roy took part in the D-Day Normandy Landings.
Unfortunately, he suffered shell shock now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) right after a reconstructive surgery on his lower leg. A bone in his leg was shattered after a Nazi sniper had shot him as him and his comrades were planning to camp down for the night in 1945.
His PTSD led to the breakdown of his relationship. Roy married a German immigrant Johanna Bentley and they were together until her death in 2012 at the age of 90.
Nora on the other hand met and married Bill Jackson; he died in 2002 at 78. The couple had two children and two grandchildren.
Speaking on how they first met, Roy said: “I first met Nora when I was evacuated from London. The teacher brought me to the front of the class and introduced me as the new boy.
“I looked at all the class and my eyes fell on this pretty girl, which was Nora.
“We left school and sometime later I went to Finney Gardens Hotel and Nora was there with a group of girls.
“She was wearing a lovely yellow dress with pink roses, I still remember that. I went to talk to her and I asked her on a date.
“After I returned from the war I wanted to be on my own, I couldn’t handle it. I was suffering depression from the horrors I’d seen and what I’d been through.
“I suppose it was PTSD. Nora used to come and see me in the hospital and stayed with me as long as she could, but in the end I wanted to be on my own and she gave me the ring back.”
Roy’s son Tony, 61, said he was happy for his dad and his new fiancée.
“I think it’s tremendous. I’m very pleased for dad and for Nora,” Tony said.
Watch old couple celebrate 82nd wedding anniversary: