Marriage, A Job and A Cruel Twist

Finding a much safer vocation than a bomber pilot - he acquired work with the Parisian laundry. Norman became engaged and married a war widow named Phyllis Stones, who had previously lost her first husband, a brave Canadian airman named Harold Le Noury sadly shot down over Belgium skies. His Halifax bomber along with Norman's took off from yorkshire on the same perilous mission on the night of 2nd November 1944 - target - Dusseldorf, sadly only Norman returned to his British airfield.

In the aftermath of this dreadful war, Norman was probably her sanctuary and Phyllis his. The summer of 1954, he began a fresh job with Prudencial Life Insurance. He'd been working there for several months when one afternoon whilst repairing his car at the rear of his appartment, the disrespectful vehicle slipped off the jack crushing the hero pilot beneath. Neighbours raced to release Norman and he was taken over the road to St Josephs Hosptial. Sadly after great efforts by the doctors to save his life, the "Knight of the Iron Bird"  died a few hours later. Robbed of his life not by an enemy gun, but by his own car. You have to ask - why?

pic 12 marriage

Norman and Phyllis Wedding

Losing these two boys crippled my Grandfather, desperate for his own son, George was never the same man again and it was'nt long before this family anchor started to drift home worst for drink, this went on into the 1960s. One day i was alone with him and he crumpled to the floor, i was 5 years old and ran onto the streets in terror. A stroke had torn down his world, now wheelchair bound Grandfather wasted away holding Normans picture by his side until his final sunset over the Lancashire plains in 1968. This was the impact on my family and what i remember.

pic 14 gdad

Mother says nobody must ever use the name Norman in my familia again - it's a symbolic nav in memory. We must also not forget one unfortunate lady - his wife Phyllis, who had to endure a second loss. Both husbands flew in Halifax bombers, glided on the same winds, and in the same skies around the same time. I believe she disappeared from the social radar - a wounded swan, alone.

By instinct I've always protected my ancestral backbone - like an ancient oak tree within. We're a proud lot - well - some are, whilst other don't care. Loyalty old fashioned - I'm firmly behind my ancestors, for what they stood for. Often a difficult existence, but they had moral compass. Grandfather George had a giant flag pole like Blackpool Tower at the bottom of his council house garden, he flew the Union Jack, and stood proud, flat capped, often saluted. It was a difficult time the war and Uncle Norman may have fought for many reasons, not wishing the family to be torn apart by anybody and that included Hilter.

To any young Tilly related - spare a moment to reflect on the legend of Uncle Norman, this young lad placing his life on the line for your freedom today. Imagine fighting in Afganistan against your wishes, never knowing if you will see your family again. We should be humble in our freedom. Whatever the Christian god's motive for taking Norman, he seemed to appear in samsara for an auspicious reason - only to melt back away again into the mists of the ethos. His spirit will always be around, that's if you believe of course and we must never forget our last warrior.

pic 15 flag pole

George Tilston and his Flag Pole During WW2

Jasa o buddhaengro, atch bokti ta konyo tilly kokko tiro nevo jivaben tan.
Journey with god, stay lucky at peace in your new world.

In Memory of Norman and his brave Fellow Aircrew, on behalf of the Tilston family of Canada & United Kingdom
Omani hum

Stef - Conwy Tan
Cymru, UK

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