World War Two was the most widespread and deadliest war in history. It was a global war with more than 30 different countries were involved in this war and there were more than 50 million civilian and military deaths, many believe the number is actually much closer to 80 million. This devastating war lasted for nearly six years. It began due to Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. The Germans believed that the Polish had sabotaged them near the boarder. It dragged on until finally the Allies defeated both Nazi Germany and Japan in 1945. As appalling as this war was, there are some beautiful and romantic love stories that came out of it. The following is the heart-wrenching story of a soldier finding his long lost love.
Norwood Thomas met and lost touch with his first love Joyce Durrant in the early 1940’s. And after reconnecting last year, he now is now sadly mourning her death. Durrant died on Dec. 9, two months after suffering a heart attack. “She was the love of my life,” Thomas, 93, said in an interview with The Virginia-Pilot. “I hadn’t spoken to her for seventy years.”
Thomas, 93, and Durrant first met on the banks of London’s River Thames in 1945 during World War II. “Tommie” was 21 and was a D-Day paratrooper with the famous 101st Airborne Division and Durrant, who was then 17 was an Australian student nurse. They had a whirlwind romance, but they lost touch after the war ended. To this day, they never forgot one another. They reconnected in November 2015 after Durrant asked her son Robert Morris to search for her old love on the Internet. Durrant’s search quickly went viral and a GoFundMe page was started, and Air New Zealand offered to sponsor a trip for Thomas to visit his long-lost love in her hometown of Adelaide, Australia. In February, he flew from his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Durrant’s home.
Prior to the meeting, the couple talked about how much they wanted to give each other a “squeeze.” And in February, they finally got their chance. “When I put my arms around her, I felt an emotion that I hadn’t felt for a long time,” Thomas said in his emotional interview. “And then, as we were together, that emotion grew. And pretty soon, the old feelings were back.” Following their two-week reunion, they have called each other four to five times a week and Thomas was planning on flying out to Australia again in the spring. But he told the The Virginia-Pilot that finding his way back to her was more than worth the heartbreak he feels now.