WW2 Veteran To Marry Long Lost Sweetheart After Help From BBC Talk Show Host

Roy Vickerman proposed to Nora Jackson last week – for the second time – with the same ring – 72 years after the first proposal. And for the second time, she accepted!

Roy and Nora, who live in England, first met in 1940 when they were teenagers in high school. Roy was immediately smitten with Nora at their first meeting, and he said in an interview with ABC News, “I thought to myself, she’s the girl for me.”

They got engaged for the first time in 1944, just before Roy, as a British soldier, took part in the D-Day Normandy landings. While serving with the Black Watch and Highland Light Infantry in 1945, a bullet from a German sniper shattered a bone in his lower leg.

Roy said, “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.”

For seventy years, the two led completely separate lives – each getting married and having children with their spouses. Vickerman’s wife died in 2012 and Jackson’s husband died 12 years ago.

Fast forward to 2015. Roy called into BBC’s Graham Torrington’s late night radio talk show and told him and his listeners about his lifetime love affair with Nora and how he would like to apologize to her for jilting her seven decades earlier.

One of the show’s producers was able to track down Nora’s address and they shared it with Vickerman. Even then, he waited a month before he contacted his long-lost love. He was worried about intruding – he assumed she had a husband and was happily married. Finally, he got up the nerve to go and see her – and he arrived at her door armed with a bunch of flowers and a smile, ready to greet Nora and her husband and tell them that he wanted to apologize to Nora for what happened all those years ago.

When Nora Jackson opened the front door, and instantly recognized Roy. “’Oh, Roy, I thought I’d never see you again’ and then she gave me a kiss and said, ‘Hold me,’” Vickerman recalled. Roy started visiting Nora every day, and they revived their dormant love.

On his 90th birthday, surrounded by friends and family, Roy again proposed to Nora with the engagement ring he had used in 1944. Roy said, “She knew I was going to propose because it was the original ring, but the guests didn’t know. They were really surprised and the reaction was fantastic.”

They are hoping to get married very soon. Nora hoped it would be in as soon as a week. Roy’s son Tony, 61, a driving instructor from Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, said: “I think it’s tremendous. I’m very pleased for Dad and for Nora.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE