100-year-old WWII hero has lifetime ambition granted

Picture Credit Len Boxall

The dreams of a WWII veteran came true when he wore the ceremonial dress of the Grenadier Guards for the first time.

Len Boxall from Norfolk turns 100 today. He enlisted in 1939 before the start of the Second World War, signing up for 12 years. 

He became a prisoner of war after being captured in Italy. In all his 12 years of service, he never got to wear the red jacket and it has been a life-long ambition.

He said he chose The Grenadier Guards because he liked the red uniform and the bearskin Hat.

When he first enlisted, he worked at Windsor Castle, where he remembers the Queen as a young girl.

He served in France, Italy and Africa. When the War started, he was sent to the front line and was captured in Italy two years before the War ended, spending the last two years of the war in a German Prisoner of War camp.

Len says he could not wait to get home and dance with his sweetheart Nora Abbott who eventually became his wife.

Len and Nora were married for 77 years before she passed away in 2018.

Len spent 7 years in active service and 5 years in the reserves. During his service, he only ever got to wear fatigues but always wanted the opportunity to wear the ceremonial dress.

He only recently spoke about this and said it was his last wish to be able to wear this uniform. His wish was granted by The Grenadier Guards Association