Former postman James Board publishes his autobiography

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“Did I really do all that?”

It was James Board’s first thought when he completed his autobiography – and it has provided a fitting title for his second book.

The 85-year-old Colyton writer has produced a richly illustrated account of his remarkable life, reflecting not only his deep love for his home town but also his army service overseas and his extensive travels around the globe.

Educated at Colyton Primary School, outdoor-loving Mr Board spent 25 years as a postman delivering mail across the local area. Married to Vera for the past 63 years the couple have two children, Joanne and Robert.

In 1999 Mr Board published his first book – The River Runs By - a record of his childhood years growing up in Colyton. In it he unveiled a little of the town’s very colourful and rebellious history, alongside the highs and lows of his growing up years.

The book’s success sowed the seeds for a second book which geminated in 2011 when he embarked on his autobiography. Two years later the final chapter was completed.

He told The Herald: “We all have many experiences in our lives but it is not until we take pen in hand that they engage many of our senses, making us think: “Did I really do all that?”

“I hope my autobiography will give great pleasure, amusement and perhaps a tear or two to those who venture beyond its cover and enjoy the journey which took me to many places, including Egypt, Israel, the Palestine, Aden through the Suez Canal and on to Mombasa in East Africa during my Army years.”

The book also recounts the preparations for D Day at Dunkeswell Airport where he worked from early 1943, aged 14, to 1946, witnessing both the tragic and carefree times of both American and British military personnel.

“I have had a very good life which I have enjoyed so much, with no regrets,” he added.

Mr Board was signed copies of his book and gave a talk at Seaton Library today (Thursday, January 9). And tomorrow ( Friday, January 10) he will be at Archway Bookshop in Axminster from 11am.

His autobiography is published by Honeybee Books, of Broadoak, and is on sale at £9.95 from Byrne Jones shop in Seaton and Archway Bookshop, Axminster.

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