Wartime sweethearts stand the test of time

A couple whose love blossomed in the middle of the Second World War are today celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

John and Doris Gilbert of Tring married on March 20, 1943, after having met as 18-year-olds in a north London church where John was in the choir and Doris worked with a children’s class.

John and Doris Gilbert celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. They were married on March 20, 1943.

John and Doris Gilbert celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. They were married on March 20, 1943.

The young couple were unable to have a proper honeymoon due to the ongoing world conflict.

John said: “It was a different time. We had to wait until August before we could go to Torquay on the train. It was full of servicemen, so Doris sat on our suitcase and I had to stand the whole way.”

Engineer John and dressmaker Doris often worked together on light operas, with him performing and her creating costumes.

The pair moved around between London, Dorset and Hertfordshire before settling in Tring around 16 years ago, to be closer to daughters Linda and Deborah. Their son Ken lives in Leicester, and they also have eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Doris said: “Our marriage has spoken for itself really, it has stood the test of time and we have a lovely life together. We are both very pleased as we are still living together and looking after ourselves at the age of 93. That’s all you can ask for.”

John added: “When we think of the troubles other families go through, we see how lucky we are.”