Father's Day: Remembering William Boardman
On this Father’s Day, we remember all fathers who took part in the Battle of Normandy, especially those who did not return. Their family was left to grow up without them and their loss is still felt today. Some of the Stories we have been sent show the effects of their death.
Left: Helen with her mother Nina in 1943. Right: Nina and William in 1937, Blackpool.
William (Bill) Boardman worked as a butcher in Middleport, Staffordshire where he spied a lovely red head walking past his shop. He would also see her when he was out with his cycle team. One day, as he passed her on his bicycle, he stopped for a chat. He married the lovely red head, Nina, on Christmas Day 1939. Their daughter, Helen was born in 1941, the same year that Bill joined up. He served with 48 (Royal Marine) Commando in Sicily and then Normandy. But Normandy was to be his last battle as he was killed on D-Day as he landed on Juno Beach.
Below is the last letter his daughter Helen, aged just three at the time, received:
Helen says this about her late father:
“Although I was only very young I can remember how tall my dad was (to me anyway) and I called him ‘Daddy Long Legs’! While he was away from home he would write beautiful letters to my mum and me. He would often say how we could have a house of our own when he came back from the war. He was a real family man. Over the years we have kept his memory alive and still miss him very much. I wish he could have known his grand children and great-grandchildren. Bill’s first great great grandchild was born last year. He would have been devoted to them.”
You can read the story in full here.
Please consider becoming a Guardian of the Memorial so that the fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers remembered on the Memorial will never be forgotten. As a thank you gift, you will receive a free Memorial photo book when you sign up as a Guardian.