Archives: Vintage snap of postmen, Battle of Arnhem bravery and pigeon fancier goes ‘missing’

The Standard's old photo of Boston postmen Eric Stray, right, and Tony Ayre - pictured outside the gates to Central Park. Date unknown. Do you remember the happy pair?
The Standard's old photo of Boston postmen Eric Stray, right, and Tony Ayre - pictured outside the gates to Central Park. Date unknown. Do you remember the happy pair?

This vintage snap of two smiling Boston postmen was taken by the Standard one Christmas outside the gates of Central Park.

The date of the image is unknown, but it is believed to be from the early 1950s.

It was posted on Facebook by James Stray and shows his late father Eric Stray (right) and Tony Ayre.

71 years ago... 1945

A Boston officer’s bravery was recognised after a dramatic battle against the Germans in the battle of Arnhem, Norway.

Formerly a farmer, Lieut J R Cannon, of Argyle Street, served in Norway, France, Belgium and Holland and was described as ‘a very experienced patrol commander’.

During a daylight reconnaissance mission to find out the depth and strength of the enemy defences, the company was advancing towards a village occupied by the Germans when, out of the fog of battle, two enemy soldiers popped up suddenly and fired their ‘Panzerfaust’ (a rocket-firing weapon). As they were withdrawing, however, Lieut Cannon dropped them both with a burst from his Sten gun.

The strange disappearance of Wrangle man Frank Pitcher caused concern among his family and friends. Frank seemed to just vanish from his premises and a search was carried out but with no results.

Eventually, he was heard calling for help and was discovered squatting precariously on the platform of a pigeon cote on top of an outbuilding in the garden. He had climbed a ladder to look at his pigeons, but his pigs in the garden had knocked it over, and he had no way of getting down.

55 years ago... 1961

A Boston wife and mother made an appeal to a burglar who stole from her home to return documents she needed to be reunited with her husband in America.

The thief was just £100 richer for his actions – but a handful of documents worthless to him were vital to Jillian Langlois, 21.

For Jillian, the money and documents meant a voyage with her baby daughter Tina to her husband and a new life in the US.

The money could be quickly replaced, but the documents cost £40 and took five months to obtain.

“If only the person who stole my cash box would return those documents,” said Jillian. “I don’t mind how – through our letter box, the Standard, or over the garden hedge – any way he likes, so long as I can get them back.

“The money? He’s welcome to that. It would be worth £100 to get those papers back.”

Jillian met her American husband when he was stationed at RAF East Kirkby.

During her short married life, she continued to live with her parents in Albert Street, Boston, but both dreamed of the day they could be reunited with their little daughter near Boston, Massachusetts.