Lionel Bruce VODDEN 

*3 Dec 1921 - †21 Jun 2010


a) Birth Certificate #C112960 on Third December 1921 at 30 Sully Terrace, Penarth. Registration District: Cardiff, 1921 Birth in the Sub-District of Penarth in the of Glamorgan, dated December 30th, 1921 by H.G. Beeton

England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about Lionel B Voden
Name:«tab»Lionel B Voden
Mother's Maiden Surname:«tab»Willmets
Date of Registration:«tab»Oct-Nov-Dec 1921
Registration district:«tab»Cardiff
Inferred County:«tab»Glamorganshire
Volume Number:«tab»11a
Page Number:«tab»943
Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.

Bill was hospitalized from July 1 to August 11, 1953 with Rheumatic Fever.

Bruce/Bill emigrated to Canada with his wife, Molly, and his three eldest daughters, Linda, Patricia and Christine (only 4 months old). The family sailed on the S.S. Columbia of the Greek Line from Southampton on June 16, 1956 and arrived in Montreal on June 26, 1956 over harrowing June seas with icebergs and 30 foot swells.

Through his early years, Lionel Bruce Vodden was known as "Bill". In the early 20's there was a little doll used as a mascot called Billy and it is thought that the pet name of Bill was used often as an endearment for a boy. After the family moved to Pickering, Ontario, Canada in 1959, we lived next door to the Amos family. The mother, Frances,asked why Dad was called Bill when his actual given names were Lionel Bruce and decided then and there that she was going to call him Bruce instead of Bill. Mum preferred Bruce over Bill and from then on Dad was known as his proper name, Bruce.

Autobiography of Lionel Bruce Vodden

Our girls have suggested I put on paper about our early days. I was born in December 1921 just three years after World War I and 18 years before World War II. They were very lean times for my parents and the whole family. The 1930's were especially tough. My sister and three brothers experienced a wonderful treat each week. Mother would call us on a Saturday night and divide a chocolate bar into five pieces and we would enjoy it to the very last flake! Dad would go out on a Saturday evening to walk about 3 to 4 miles to the Esplanade Hotel where he would buy a quart of bottled stout and bring it home so that he and mother could share it together by the fire. This was their weekly treat.

The family lived together in a small row house in the middle of a block of homes in Sully Terrace, Penarth, South Wales. The house faced onto a railway line, where the trains ran between Lavernock and Cardiff. Penarth's population was around 19,000 and Cardiff 243,000 in the 1930's. Both Penarth and Cardiff had Dock areas for the shipment of coal from the Welsh Valleys to many parts of the world. It was an extremely busy industrial area geared to the coal industry and my Dad had moved to Penarth from Ilfracombe in Devon to take a position as a telegraphist for the General Post Office. He was employed by them for 46 years in different job capacities mainly as a counter postal clerk.

To make ends meet in providing for the family, my Dad worked a 20 perch of allotment. It was heavy clay-type soil and he dug it all with the help of his sons, when they could spare the time. Dad would go to his garden at 6 am, wet or fine. At 8 am he would be standing on the station platform ready to journey the five miles to Cardiff by train. Before he left Mum would get the family up and have a cooked breakfast ready of bacon & eggs, potatoes, toast and jam. We often ate it together.

On the weekend Dad would get the boys together and early Saturday we would be off to the beaches to fish. Depending on the state of the tide, we would choose a particular fishing spot. We caught quite a variety of fish; cod in winter; salmon, bass (sea-perch) in summer. Other varieties included Dover sole, flat fish, conger eel, whiting, pauting, skate, dog fish, etc. Sunday mornings often found us fishing the Promenade at high tide. In the Bristol Channel from high tide around 8 am to low tide at 2 pm there would be a drop of 25 to 30 feet. So fishing was another source of supply.

With all the maritime shipping going into Penarth, Cardiff, Bristol and Avonmouth and the coisterans (?) seas, it was not uncommon to see Dad walking the high tide mark to recover washed up items such as hatch doors, containers, shipping crates, etc. He would keep the better wood for making things and chop up the remainder for firewood. Much hardware was salvaged also and stored for future use. Dad's garden shed had a wealth of such items.

Most homes in those days burnt coal in open fire places. A coalman delivered coal to each house. It then had to be knocked down to size to suit the fireplaces. That was one of my jobs - a very dirty one! Mom's kitchen fire heated the water and the oven - it always had to be stocked because the whole household depended on it. One other of my many chores was to turn Mum's big mongel on washing days - usually Mondays. We all helped at different times.

I had forgotten to mention that when I was about 4 or 5 the family moved to #2 Alberta Place at the end of the block, adjacent to the railway platform. Mr. Smeath, the builder, lived on one side and Mr. Williams, a yachtman, lived on the other. I think he dealt in finance - I'm not sure. This larger home had an outside toilet as well as one upstairs. I remember Mr. Williams committed suicide in his outside toilet, adjacent to ours. He somehow hanged himself from the low roof beams. How he did it was a mystery because he was a tall man. Another incident that remains in my memory was that of watching Grandpa (Dad's father) splitting a log with an axe outside the coalhouse at #2. He dropped dead right in front of me. #2 Alberta was a leasehold property, leased from the Marquis of Bete. My sister, Joan, later bought the lease when her husband, Ron Pratt, was alive - Ron died early of cancer.

In those early days, my eldest brother, Roy, married Mary Pitcher and moved to Swansea. He was an insurance agent and later became an inspector. Mary's brother was a builder, the son of a builder, and her family were well established and respected in the town (Penarth).

Monty, the next eldest son, was an apprentice gas fitter and plumber in those early days. He qualified and became very skilled in his trade. He later had a job as a journeyman and lathe operator in the shipping dry docks in Cardiff. Mont married, bought one of the Sully Terrace houses where he still lived today. His first wife was unfaithful to him. I well remember Mont hid himself in the back lane and waited for his wife and boyfriend to come home. He surprised them and gave the boyfriend a hiding. He was small in stature but tough. Later, Mont married his cousin, Doris, from Preston Lanes and had a happy marriage. They had two boys, Graham and Brian.

Before I mention Harold, I would mention that I now recall that a schoolteacher lived in #1 Alberta Place before Mr. Smeath , the builder. "Bogey" Boulton was a mature crusty no nonsense teacher and one afternoon he hailed Dad over the garden wall in a very irritated mood. Harold evidently had disagreed with him in class, picked up an inkwell and threw it at "Bogey". Harold bolted from the classroom and went into hiding. Such was the spirit of my brothers! Dad took Harold out of school and found him a job in a tailor's shop in Cardiff. That didn't last long - he brought home pamphlets about boys being sent to Canada on a Government immigration scheme to work on Canadian farms. Harold was so keen to go and pestered Dad so much that he finally gave him permission to go. Harold was 16 at the time and was sent to Ramsayville, Ontario. He worked from dawn to dusk for his keep with little free time at first - But that's another story!

Back at #2, sister Joan passed her exams to get into the Secondary School, were she got a good high school education and finally went to "Boots, the Chemist" as a sales assistant. I passed the exams a few years later (by a very small margin) and started in the "boys" section of Penarth Secondary School. I enjoyed sports especially rugby and swimming. At first, I was not a good student and after the third year was put in a repeat class. I came 3«sup»rd«/sup» out of 34 students in the first term exams. When in my fifth year my Dad got me a job with a large shipping company as an office boy. I was there until I went into the air force in 1941 at age 19. I won the School Cup for the 50 yard dash (crawl) in 1938 and played football for the Penarth and District Rugby team of which I was captain. That's when Molly became interested in me before that time but I knew it not! Incidentally, the rugby team mentioned above was an amalgamation of the Penarth Town team and the County School Old Boys' Association. So many people were going into the services at that time, voluntary and by conscription, that it was hard to find sufficient good players to maintain more than one team.

Penarth in the 1930's had pretty good roads and bus services. There was a certain upper class who sported automobiles, but there were still many horse drawn vehicles around the streets. It was a slower paced era. Mr. Jenkins, a blind man, drove his carriage around. The horse knew where to stop at the customers' houses. Sometimes I would go to the stables and help unharness the horse and give him his feed. Mr. Jenkins sold Typhos tin from the Orient. There were other merchantmen with their horses and carts. One was a seller of "sprats" - a small fish. They were lovely eating, once they were pickled in vinegar. Some merchants sold all kind of vegetables and fruits, cockles and mussels. And, of course, the milkman called at the homes every day. I often went on the rounds with "Rothy" Lewis, the milkman. His cart was like a chariot. All the cans of milk were place across the axle area to balance the cart and "Rothy" and I rode on the drop step behind. We'd take small size milk cans to the doorsteps, ladle out the milk into the jugs and bottles of the customers and refill our cans from the large cans. He also sold eggs and cream. "Rothy" allowed me to take the reins and steer the horse. I loved doing it. After the deliveries, we would clean up the dairy ready for next milking time. "Rothy" always gave good measure to his customers and was a very popular guy.

In those days we had lamplighters going the rounds. The street lamps had gas mantles and each lamp had a pilot flame. As kids we'd try climbing the lamp-posts up to the bar below the lights, but we had to watch out because PC Waterman lived in the block. Every now and again he'd call us together and kindly tell us we must not switch on the lights.

One day on my way to school, crossing the railway bridge on Archer Road, I saw something unusual in the sky. It seemed to be following the rail track towards me. It turned out to be the R100 Zeppelin, a massive airship. What a surprise! I heard later it had crashed and burned in another part of the country. Occasionally we would see squadrons of aircraft from St. Athans Airport and a few single airplanes otherwise.

Have you ever heard of the game of "Peckers"? Let me explain. When I went to the Victoria Elementary School, at about the age of 10, some friends and I visited a blacksmith on the way home. It was a fascinating place. We would watch the "smithy" heat the steel to a cherry red or a brilliant yellow and shape it into horse shoes or whatever else he might be making. When he had finished he made each of us a pecker. This was a piece of flat steel, rectangular in shape, rounded at the edges, just big enough to fit between the fore finger and thumb.

We played the game of peckers by each person pitching his pecker about 10 feet up the middle of the road, one following the other. The object of the game was to see how many times you could land your pecker on your opponents. This took the drudgery out of the long walk home. We had lots of fun! However, one day we got to Penarth Town Railway Station which was at the end of a large open square. We were getting near to the station entrance door and I pitched my pecker and instead of it stopping at the curb, it bounced off a bump, ricocheted off through the Station Master's window. Luckily no one was hurt and I got a spanking or a real telling off and Dad had to pay for the new glass window. Such were the trials and tribulations of a school boy.

Lavernock Point a few miles south of Penarth, was the place Marconi conducted radio transmission experiments to the Steep Holms, one of the two islands in the Bristol Channel. Monty and his first wife, a friend and myself went by a 20 foot converted lifeboat to the Flat Holmes one day. We beached the boat a couple of hours after full tide. We put down two wooden legs, one each side, about centre, which kept the vessel upright when the tide went out. We then spent the day on the island, had a picnic lunch, saw the inside of the lighthouse and waited for the tide to refloat the boat. By the time we boarded, the sky was dark with clouds and the wind had risen somewhat but Mont was pretty certain we could make the coast before darkness. We did, but it was a rough trip and I spent most of it baling out the water coming over the bow. Mont's wife was really scared and spent the whole journey below deck. Because of the rise of the tides, the current was always swift. We went out on the current and came back on the current. This rise and fall of the tide was the cause of what is called the Severn Bore. This phenomena took place each spring. It appears as a tidal wave on the River Severn which was the main river leading into the Bristol Channel.

We loved the sea and all its activities. We often fished the sandbanks out in the main shipping channels. We would row out in Bill Jones' wooden punt or Mont would take us occasionally in his Fiat-powered lifeboat (6 cylinders inboard). At low tide the current was non existent and generally the sea was calm. This lasted about 2 hours and then we had to head for shore otherwise the current would take us much too far up the coast. We caught big skate and dog fish out in the channel. When you hooked a skate, it was like pulling up a bucket of water, until it hit the surface. The you knew you had a fun time getting it to the boat. We weren't allowed to bring the center body of the skate to land, because their organs looked very much like humans.

Another way we would fish was by putting out a dead line at night at St Mary's Well Bay. We would bait about 50 hooks on a single heavy duty line staked into the sand at the ends. By the time we went home to sleep and got back to the line in the early morning hours, the tide had come in and gone out to reveal the amount of fish caught. One of my friends had a 54 lb. cod one night!

We would dig lug-worm in the sands to catch certain fish. We would dig rag-worm in the rock and shale areas. At low tide we would spear conger eels in the rock pools or gather all types of shell fish. We brought home sea-weed to put in the allotment as fertilizer. Occasionally, we went on trips with our parents on the paddle steamers that called at Penarth Pier. Many of these paddlers went to Dunkirk to rescue the troops off the beaches. Some didn't return. These paddlers would take us across to Bristol, Avonmouth, Weston-super-mare, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Barry and Combemartin. We were very sea oriented. When Dad took us on holiday in Devon by sea transportation, he would buy "lava bread", a seaweed and cook it for breakfast in with our bacon and eggs.

We nearly always had a cooked breakfast which had to last until a one o'clock dinner. At 5 pm we might have "kippers" or a fish tea. And then we'd finish the day about 9 pm with pickles and cheese or tripe and onions. We certainly ate a lot of garden produce too. In those days the food you ate kept your body warm from the cold winds from the Atlantic. From the sea breezes most people has rosy cheeks. One wore much warmer clothing in office and shops. We walked most places, rode our bikes, took a train or a bus. Whichever way you traveled, you were out in the elements much more. When you came home the kitchen stove would be heating the kitchen area but the rest of the house was not heated. If you wanted to sit in another room to do work or study, or play, someone had to lay the fire with paper, kindling wood and coal and let it burn for an hour before the room would be warm enough. Sometimes one had to go out in the cold to chop sticks and break the coal before the fire could be laid. There were no dish washers. You were the dishwasher! The clothes dryer was an assembly of four pieces of wood hung from the ceiling in front of the kitchen fire. There was no clothes washer, just a tub and a washboard. You supplied the energy to wash the clothes. Actually our mothers mainly did this chore. There were no "throw-away" nappies in those days. Cloth nappies were washed by hand. All mothers of families worked very hard and long hours. Families were working teams - each member had his/her job assigned and it had to be done.

We did enjoy life a great deal despite the work load. Roy was an early wireless hobbyist. He made crystal sets. I used to try picking up the stations by moving a cat's whisker (a small wire) across a crystal in a glass cover. We could get a couple of stations. It was a great thrill. Monty loved motorbikes and rode everywhere on his old AJS machine. Roy bought another type (a Scott) with two radiators mounted on the mainframe at the front. When Roy was traveling one day his drive-chain broke, locked up the back wheel and threw him over the handlebars. Roy's head hit a curb stone and he was taken unconscious to the hospital. He survived but you could always see the scar across Roy's forehead. Mont later had a "Norton" and took me on the pillion several times. It was a real power machine in those days.

Another of my jobs as a youngster was to take a bucket and a shovel into the road after the horses had deposited their manure. Dad would use a mixture of this with other ingredients and make a watery soup to feed his tomatoes. You couldn't find better tasting tomatoes!

Dad had a lovely garden at the back of the house with a rose trellis for rambler roses. He also had many varieties of standard roses and other beautiful flowers. Mom would save her clothes water and we would spray the roses to kill the bugs. Our garden was surrounded by stone walls about 4' - 5' high on the sides and about 10' behind the shed. It was surprising how hedgehogs would appear in our garden, be around for a few days and move on. How they got there I can't recall. The dogs we had were the first to discover them.

Because many of rich ship owners resided in Penarth, many in beautiful homes overlooking the channel, they donated to the beautification of the area with many lovely parks. The public could walk through or picnic, listen to the brass bands playing in the band shell or gaze at the fishponds and fountains. Another activity would be to go down to the main beach front, near to Penarth pier, sit on the promenade railings and watch the girls go by. The adults often rented deckchairs and listened to the music coming from the pavilion loudspeaker. Sam Boland, the deck chair renter, would collect the rent and had a word for almost everyone.

One thing about the sea and the shipping lanes was the variety of ships one saw. There would be the coal carrying freighter, cargo vessels of all types, small tugs and ocean going larger ones, Neale & West fishing trawlers and the huge Fife Banana boats going in to Avonmouth. They were painted white and stood out above the others. They usually arrived in the evenings when the sun reflected on the water before some of the most wonderful sunsets. Because of Britain being an island with sea all around, the sun reflected on the water and the sunsets lasted a long time. In summer darkness didn't arrive until 10 to 10:30 pm. We sometimes saw the effects of the "aurora borealis"(northern lights) in the sky.

When I was in the Secondary School I swam in the summer and played rugby in the fall, winter and spring. I even tried sculling in a four seater with sliding seats. Problem with any sea sports - one was so dependent on good weather. I therefore concentrated in swimming at the public indoor "Baths." These consisted of two pools. I would arrive each day at 7 am (about a mile walk), Have a swim etc. for about ½ hour, dress and return home for breakfast. Then I would walk to school. As soon as school was over I would be down to the Baths again and have fun for 2 - 3 hours before going home. We were really water crazy. We could swim ¾ of the 25 yards under water without coming up for air. In the evening in summer we would sometimes watch the water polo games of the men. To us, these players were our heroes! When war broke out in 1939 some of these players were the first to be conscripted. They were shipped abroad and were captured. We didn't see them again.

War was talked about because of Hitler's posturing and threats but to a boy of 17 it did not mean a lot. We had met lots of exchange students from Germany who seemed very nice people. We had shown them our beaches and docks, and they were excellent photographers and took many pictures of us and the various places. We were unsuspecting, innocent, ordinary folk, friendly and accommodating, never suspecting that many of these visitors were gathering information intentionally or not for Hitler's Reich.

Then on Sept 3, 1939 our family gathered around the radio to hear Chamberlain's announcement that Britain had declared war on Germany. Hitler was devastating Europe and about to invade Britain. Mother cried. Dad was very quiet. They knew what war meant and they had four sons.

By December 1939 Harold was back in Britain as a Sapper in the Canadian Royal Engineers. He returned to his wife and home in Canada after 6 years, with a distinguished service record. He finished his army career as a major having been awarded the highest honour France could bestow on him, the "Croix de Guerre" medal. Roy served as a Fire Fighter in the Swansea area and was commended for his bravery. Monty stayed in the Dry Docks repairing our ships and freighters. I served in Training Command in the RAF repairing aero engines and served 18 months in South Africa. My term of service was over five years, but I was actually involved for seven years in the war and the services.

By the time I reached 18 the Local Defense Volunteers had been formed to train youngsters how to defend themselves and their country from the German invaders. The bombing raids were about to begin and Dad was already a Fire Warden. He'd go out at night and check all the houses and get them to put out any lights. All households were expected to do their part and most got black curtains to cover the windows. Roy was already a volunteer fireman and we had our stirrup pumps to extinguish the incendiary bombs. We didn't have to wait long - the bombing raids began over most of the Bristol Channel ports and elsewhere around the coast. First the planes dropping the incendiary bombs came and lightened up the whole sky. Then the big bombs fell from the larger planes. On one of the first raids on Penarth, the military purposely lit an area of burning oil drums etc. as a decoy. The German bombers dropped their bombs around the decoy instead of hitting its target. In the morning it was discovered that 108 high explosive bombs had peppered a 2 acre field. We had our moments on other raids when incendiary bombs rained down from the sky. Our new stirrup pump had not been assembled correctly and we had more water up the shaft of the pump than watered the bomb. We had a good laugh at that. One house we went to, to tell the residents that their attic was on fire, we got no reply. On further investigation we found all the family in underneath the stairs with aluminum cooking pots on their heads!

Later the Local Defense Volunteers were organized into the "Home Guard". I was assigned to the cycle patrol to take messages from an outpost to the central command office. Our outpost was a church in a wood on high ground, overlooking a flat area at Swambridge about 8 miles from Penarth. It was a very eerie experience standing guard on my own on a 2 to 4 am shift while the others slept on the floor of the church inside. I might say I was a pretty scared young man not knowing in the pitch black night whether the German parachuters had landed and were close by. My venue was later changed to the Penarth Golf Course, where we were defending the area with one Canadian Ross rifle, for which we had no bullets and pitchforks, staves and knives. If Jerry had landed in Britain at that time he could have conquered it within a few days! We were «u»very«/u» fortunate!

Before my time was due to be conscripted into the forces, I volunteered for the Airforce. I had the choice of doing this or waiting until I was sent into any one of the other services. Looking back I think it was the right move. Another Vodden, Frank (no relation), was in school with me. He went into the armoured tanks. His tank was hit by enemy fire. Frank got out and ran for cover but was killed. I could tell you of many friends who lost their lives, but I would prefer not to dwell on the subject. Even before the war, John King, the son of PC King went as a policeman to India at the age of 17. He was killed within a few months.

This cruel war changed the direction of our lives and we lost many friends at sea, in the deserts of North Africa, in the Far East and in the air war. After it was all over, like many others, I was given a small gratuity, a suit of clothes and a railroad ticket to rejoin my loved ones. I had no immediate job. We had to pick up the pieces and start a new life together. At least Molly and I had each other. I forgot to mention that Molly worked for the NAAFI - an organization that fed the troops, at home and abroad. She was exempt from military service because of the nature of her job!

When the war came, it finished my teen age years and the early memories of my youth. It changed the direction of many lives. I could write a book about those six lonely, brutal years! But, I'd rather not.
Written by Lionel Bruce Vodden during a visit to daughter, Linda's home in Newmarket, Ontario in 1993.

Note on Dad's locations during the War:
Dad enlisted on March 23, 1941 at the age of 19 and given his Airman's number of 1401859. He was originally stationed in Morton in the Marsh for 3 or 4 months where he took the "Flight Mechanics Course". . He served at the boot camp in Morecombe, near Blackpool. From here he went to Cosford where he was stationed for four months while he took the "Fitters II Course". His official duties started when he was sent to Sealand in Chester. He was then sent to Cromarty Firth which was just north of Inverness in Scotland. Here he was stationed mainly in Dingwall but also served in Invergordon and then Evanton where the aerodrome was. Very soon he was promoted to Corporal. Early in 1943 he was given leave to go back home to Penarth to see his family and while he was on leave he and Mum were married. Back in Scotland early in 1944 he was given his orders to go with the defense force to South Africa.

Dad relates the route he took to South Africa: From Dingwall, Scotland, aboard the Monarch of Bermuda, they set sail around the north of Scotland south and along the north coast of Ireland and then along the west coast of Ireland. Once out in the Atlantic Ocean, they criss-crossed back and forth for 37 days avoiding German u-boats (submarines) until they reached Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. Here they followed the north coast of Africa to the Suez Canal and down through the Red Sea. Following along the east coast of Africa, they made their way south again watching all the time for German u-boats. At one point when they were proceeding between the African coast and the Island of Madagascar they spotted one. They sailed into one of the many river mouths that were along the Mozambique coast and stayed there for about 48 hours before they ventured back out into the Mozambique Channel to continue they way to Cape Town where they were stationed for the next 18 months.

Life in South Africa despite the usual drills and shifts doing engine repair, was relatively easy. Dad and his buddies in the Air Force spent their leisure time in more enjoyable pursuits. Here he met a lovely family. Joyce was the second oldest daughter and she and Dad became fast friends. (Us girls, his daughters, always wondered if there was some romantic interest there but Dad always steadfastly claimed there was not. After all, he and Mum had only been married for just over a year! After he passed on Linda and Janis, Joyce's daughter, corresponded and Janis's relating of that time was again without romantic interest, just good friends in a group. Dad & Mum corresponded with Joyce Sale for the rest of their lives and Linda has a few of the most recent letters and photos sent from Joyce.) They played rugby, rode horseback and generally kept themselves well entertained. When it came time for Dad to return home to England at the end of the war, a dinner party was given for all the enlisted men. Dad was really happy to be going home. They sailed out of Cape Town with all the fanfare of a cruise ship. He had been overseas from March 27, 1944 to September 9, 1945.

When he got back to England he was stationed at Pucklechurch, near Bristol, for a short time. Nan & Tom lived in Bristol too at that time. He was then sent to North Wales, Chester and Sealand again before he was demobbed. His Squadron Leader, R. W. Sutton, gave Dad a full recommendation on July 6, 1946: "The above LCO has been employed on the maintenance and overhaul of Aero and M.T. engines for 5 years. He has proved to be an outstanding worker, keen, loyal and not afraid to accept technical responsibilities. He is trustworthy in every respect and, in view of his capabilites, it is recommended that he be employed in Engineering." After getting his orders that he was to be demobbed on August 23, 1946, he was to remain as part of the Reserve of the Royal Air Force for the next 74 days in the event that he would be needed to serve again but there was no further conflict and Dad was finally demobbed November 5th, 1946.

b) (Research):

c) (Medical):When he was young, Bruce was very athletic and liked swimming and rugby. He won a trophy for his swimming speed in his mid teens.
Bruce had rheumatic fever when he was 31, was hospitalized in Cardiff but recovered with no apparent heart damage. He credited Christian Science with his quick and remarkable recovery and from then until his 60's relied completely on it for his healings.
When Bruce was in his 60's and living in Chilliwack, Linda visited with him and Molly. She got up in the middle of the night to find him trying to sleep in his chair but would stop breathing and wake himself up. Bruce was encouraged to be hospitalized where they found his heart was beating erratically and he had a pacemaker put in. The pacemaker was replaced only once a couple of years before his death. His health improved dramatically allowing him to do things he was not able to do for a few years.
In October 2002, Bruce was diagnosed with Lymphoma and was near death. It went into remission in November and he was able to celebrate his birthday on December 3, Christmas and then their 60th Wedding Anniversary on January 13, 2003. He started showing signs of early dementia in 2007. He realized what was happening to him and would take notes to remember important messages and ideas so he could keep reading them. Later, he started to show signs of anger not realizing that this was also a symptom of dementia. He had a couple of strokes which put him in hospital in June 2010 and he passed away on the 21st of that month.

  • Salesman Demonstrator (Agricultural Machinery)
  • 1947
  • 21 Jun 2010
  • Langley
  • Cause of death: Stroke & Heart Failure


1) England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005 about Lionel B Vodden
Name:«tab»Lionel B Vodden
Spouse Surname:«tab»Parker
Date of Registration:«tab»Jan-Feb-Mar 1943
Registration district:«tab»East Glamorgan
Inferred County:«tab»Glamorganshire
Volume Number:«tab»11a
Page Number:«tab»1367
Spouse: Aileen Molly Parker
Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright.