An elderly couple married for 75 years had, throughout their long years together, always showed their love for each other in lots of little ways. A poem hung on their lounge wall from George to “My Darling Wife, Elizabeth”. It was given to her to mark their 50th anniversary some years ago and was typical of the thoughtful way they treated each other.
When they met, Elizabeth was an only child living with her sick mother; her beloved father had already died when she was only fifteen. They married in 1936 when Elizabeth had just turned eighteen. And less than two years later her mother also died leaving Elizabeth with no family to speak of except for her husband and their new baby son.
To earn extra money for his family George had joined the Territorial Army and because of this, was among the first group posted in 1939 when war loomed. Conscious that he was leaving his young wife and baby son alone with no family to turn to, George did his best to find accommodation for them wherever he went. There were times when he risked getting into trouble for fetching his wife but his concern for Elizabeth went far beyond his own worry for himself. This went on throughout the war and Elizabeth found accommodation for herself near to her husband when it was possible. Usually she found lodgings with ordinary families who were desperate for some extra cash. Of course, when George was in France, separation was inevitable and when he was at Dunkirk it was particularly harrowing for them. George suffered a mental breakdown after the war and underwent Electric Shock Treatment. It was years before he made a full recovery. Nevertheless, they got through those times and settled down to family life again once the war was over.
They’d had good and bad times during their 75 years together. Like most married couples they’d had money worries, health issues and all the normal problems and cares people have when bringing up three children, yet throughout all those years they had never failed to love and support each other. Right up to the end when George was 97 and Elizabeth was 94, they never failed to give each other a goodnight kiss and the first thing they did in the morning was to greet each other with another kiss. Not a day went by where they didn’t tell each other how much they cared for each other, even if they’d had a rare tiff. They really stuck by their wedding vows “To love, honour and cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse”. I’m so proud to have had them for my parents.