WWII veteran, 95, dies before marrying childhood sweetheart
- Roy Vickerman was one of Stoke-on-Trent’s last surviving Normandy veterans
- Roy and Nora's love story began in the 1940s
- Roy fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded by a sniper’s bullet
Roy Vickerman, who was engaged to his long-time sweetheart Nora Jackson, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday last week. Vickerman, 95, was one of Stoke-on-Trent’s last surviving Normandy veterans.
The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the lovebirds to live apart, but they were still hoping to tie the knot once the lockdown ended.
Roy and Nora's love story began in the 1940s Stoke-on-Trent when World War II tragically tore them from one another's sides. Now his family, friends, and other former soldiers hope to offer him a send-off with a funeral at Stoke Minster.
His son Howie Vickerman, aged 63, said, “I was talking to the British Legion and the Normandy Veterans’ Association and they would like to arrange a military honor back-up. I said that would be brilliant. We haven’t confirmed the date yet. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since he passed away," Mirror reported.
Roy, who died at his Hartshill home, had seen his health fade in his final weeks. He hadn’t been able to shake a cough after suffering a chest infection. He became a decorated war hero after being called to serve with the Black Watch at the age of 18 in 1944. He then joined the Army Intelligence Corps.
Roy fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded by a sniper’s bullet during the invasion of Germany. Barely 19 years old, he returned to his family’s one up-one down-home in Bucknall.
The experience on the frontline had left him not only physically injured, but suffering post-traumatic stress. It also led to him splitting up with his girlfriend Nora, whom he'd met at school. The pair would rekindle their romance 70 years later when Roy was given Nora’s address in Shelton.