Former bomber was a ‘true gentleman’

Former Chatburn Primary School headteacher Ted Boden. (s)
Former Chatburn Primary School headteacher Ted Boden. (s)
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A former Chatburn primary school headteacher and Second World War Lancaster Bomber veteran has died at the age of 92.

Herbert Edward Boden, known as Ted, joined the RAF during the last two years of the war as aircrew, training in both England and South Africa as a Navigator and Bomb Aimer with the Lancaster Bombers. He made numerous sorties towards the end of the war, including 1,000 raids over Dresden and Munich, before being demobbed in 1946.

After the war, Ted trained as a teacher and took up his first post at Crosslands Moor School in Huddersfield, gaining a promotion to deputy headteacher in the mid 1950s.

He soon met and married his wife Hilda, with sons John and Keith arriving a couple of years later.

The family moved to Chatburn in 1957, after Ted took up the post of Headteacher at Chatburn C of E Primary School and set up home in the school house opposite Hudson’s Ice Cream Shop. He was the sixth headteacher at the school, which opened its doors in 1850 and closed in 1967 when the new school was built at its present site at a cost of £25,000.

One of the last notable events which took place at the old school was a visit from Sir Richard Attenborough and Brian Forbes which led to many of the pupils being cast in the film “Whistle Down the Wind”, which was being filmed in nearby Downham at the time.

Ted was involved in many other organisations outside school, including the parish council and the village’s amateur dramatic society. In 1974, he was elected District Councillor for the Chatburn and Downham ward of Ribble Valley Borough Council and his work throughout the years eventually led to his election as Mayor of the Borough in 1983. After 25 years as a borough councillor, Ted retired as an honorary Alderman in 1999. He remained a parish councillor, serving 52 years for the village.

Throughout his life, Ted, was a devoted family man and described by all who knew him, including the nurses in hospital who cared for him in the lead up to his death as a “true gentleman”.