World War II veteran Roy Vickerman and 89-year-old Nora Jackson of the U.K. are planning a summer wedding, 72 years after first getting engaged.
Vickerman originally popped the question when the high school sweethearts were 18 and he was about to go off and fight in the war, according to media reports. The engagement crumbled, though, under the weight of his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when he came back wounded in 1946.
The pair eventually moved on to other relationships, married and started families. Jackson, who’s been widowed for 14 years, admits she did think about her old fiancé over the years.
“In fact I dreamed about him a few times,” she said to The Telegraph.
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“I always thought a lot about Nora,” Vickerman, whose wife died in 2012, told the BBC.
He turned to the outlet last summer in hopes of being reunited with his former flame. A radio show helped him track her down. It turns out the two have lived just over three kilometres away from each other for the past 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,” Vickerman said.
When he finally “plucked up the courage” to visit her, he said to SWNS TV, his plan was to just give her flowers and apologize for how things had ended. He wasn’t expecting to be as well-received as he was.
“Just hold me,” Jackson told him as she wrapped her arms around him.
Fast forward a few months later, to Vickerman’s 90th birthday on March 26: he proposed (again), with the exact same ring he’d used in 1944.
“I still love her just the same as I did before.”
Except this time he didn’t get down on one knee when he proposed.
“Because I wouldn’t get up again,” he joked.
The two aren’t the only lovebirds to reunite after more than seven decades apart. This past Valentine’s Day another Word War II vet, 93-year-old Norwood Thomas of the U.S., travelled to Australia to reconnect with his wartime love.
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