WWII Veteran to Wed Wartime Sweetheart 72 Years After He Called Off Their First Engagement

Now 90, Roy Vickerman said he was only 13 when he first fell in love with Nora.

April 06, 2016, 5:11 PM
PHOTO: A couple who had a fleeting romance during World War Two have gotten engaged 70 years later.
A couple who had a fleeting romance during World War Two have gotten engaged 70 years later. Roy Vickerman, 90, and Nora Jackson, 89, were reunited after Roy took a taxi and flowers to Nora's house, thinking that his first love was still happily married. But upon opening the door and receiving a big hug from Nora, Roy discovered that his childhood sweetheart was single and a year later they are now engaged.
Caters News Agency

— -- A 90-year-old British World War II veteran said he is finally getting married to his "wartime sweetheart" after spending the past 72 years regretting calling off their first engagement in 1944.

Roy Vickerman told ABC News today that he first met Nora Jackson, 89, in 1940 while attending school in Bucknall, United Kingdom. They were only 13 years old at the time, he said.

"When the teacher told the class there's a new boy from London, all the faces turned towards me but the only one I saw was Nora," Vickerman told ABC News today. "I thought to myself, she's the girl for me."

Vickerman said he used to "send little notes" to Nora in class. As their relationship and the war progressed over the years, "little notes" turned into "pages and pages of letters" the two wrote each other while he was abroad serving the British Army, he said.

"We had gotten engaged just before I went abroad, but when I came back, I think I developed post-traumatic stress disorder and I just wanted to be alone," Vickerman said. "So I called off the engagement."

The two spent lived separate lives for over seven decades. Both got married and had children, though Vickerman said his first wife died in 2012, while Jackson's first husband passed away 12 years ago.

"To be honest, I had always thought about Nora the whole time," Vickerman said. "I was always wondering how Nora was."

Last year, Vickerman phoned into Graham Torrington's BBC radio show, where he shared his thoughts about love and relationships, and talked about wishing how he could apologize to Jackson.

A producer for the show was able to track down an address for Jackson, and Vickerman said he debated going to visit her for about a month.

"I didn't want to intrude if Nora had a husband, but one day, I just thought, 'No, I'll just go get some flowers and tell them I'd like to ask how Nora is and that I'd like to apologize to her for what happened,'" Vickerman said.

PHOTO: A couple who had a fleeting romance during World War Two have gotten engaged 70 years later. Roy Vickerman, 90, and Nora Jackson, 89, were reunited.
A couple who had a fleeting romance during World War Two have gotten engaged 70 years later. Roy Vickerman, 90, and Nora Jackson, 89, were reunited after Roy took a taxi and flowers to Nora's house, thinking that his first love was still happily married. But upon opening the door and receiving a big hug from Nora, Roy discovered that his childhood sweetheart was single and a year later they are now engaged.
Caters News Agency

When Jackson came to the door, she instantly recognized Vickerman, he said.

"She told me, 'Oh Roy, I thought I'd never see you again,' and then she gave me a kiss and said, 'Hold me," he said.

Since then, Vickerman has visited Nora every day.

This past March 26, when Vickerman turned 90, he said he got down on one knee and asked Jackson to marry him again. He used the same ring that he'd kept since he first proposed to her in 1944, he said.

The couple plans to wed soon, Vickerman said, joking, "It would certainly do for me if we could wed in a week!"

"We certainly do believe fate brought us together again," he added. "I'm sure it was the will of God."

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