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Tributes paid to Scarborough’s Christian Aid stalwart Norman Bogie

Norman Bogie
Norman Bogie

Tribute has been paid to war veteran Norman Bogie, who was involved with Christian Aid in Scarborough for more than half a century.

Born in Greater Manchester in January 1923, Norman moved to the Scarborough area in 1926 where he attended Gladstone Road School and was one of the very few scholarship pupils to enter the Boys’ High School.

The war interrupted his education and he became a Morse Code Signaller in the Royal Corps of Signals, working for two years in a bunker under the War Office in Whitehall, during the bombing of London.

On D-Day plus 4 Norman and his unit landed in France and the following day they were stationed near the tiny village of Reviers near Caen.

He and his unit were photographed rigging up signal equipment in the village. The photograph was published in a national newspaper, spotted by his parents and they sent off for a copy which the family still have. Following VE Day (May 1945) Norman returned to England where he volunteered for parachute training which took place in India.

But he never had to jump out of a plane in combat since the war ended as his training was completed and he was demobbed in December 1946.

Seventy years later, he was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government for his part in the liberation of France in 1944.

Norman met his future wife Jean at a birthday party in January 1947. They were married at St Mary’s Church on November 29, 1947 and lived in a flat opposite the church.

Shortly after their first child arrived, they were able to get a licence to build and move into new housing at Ryndle Walk, Northstead.

Norman and Jean worshipped at St Columba’s where Norman was an active member of the drama group and helped to run their flourishing youth club. Norman decided to train to be a teacher, working in the Town Hall by day and the Spa Box Office at night to fund his two-year course, which carried no grants.

These came in halfway through the course: too late for Norman. In 1959 he handed in his notice and travelled to York to attend college.

Meanwhile, Jean took in lodgers as well as looking after the three children. Later Norman would support Jean while she too trained as a teacher. Once qualified, he taught for a year at Westwood and then moved to Gladstone Road where he remained until his retirement.

In 1974 Norman and Jean became deeply involved in St Laurence’s Church, Scalby, where Norman became a much-loved and respected member of the church family.

He was at various times Deputy Church Warden, Sidesman and a member of the Men’s Society and a housegroup. In the wider community he was involved with Probus, The Retired Teachers association, Old Boys association and was an active NUT member. What little leisure time he had left after all that was spent pursuing painting, pottery, and silversmithing classes with the U3A, of which he was a founder member in Scarborough.

Most of all, Norman was involved with Christian Aid for over 50 years from the beginning of its work in Scarborough as an ecumenical town committee and continuing as the representative for St Laurence’s until 2012 when he was in his late 80s.

He cared deeply for those in poverty through no fault of their own and always gathered a committed team around him for Christian Aid week, earning the deep respect of those who took on his mantle.

Norman died in June, leaving wife Jean, three children, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.