Penpals are soulmates for 65 years

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A COUPLE have had a double celebration this Christmas.

Joyce and George Olive, of Field Road, Hemel Hempstead, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Boxing day.

The pair first met in May 1945, after Germany’s capitulation, and were married on Boxing Day that very year.

Despite meeting for the first time in May, the couple had been penpals during George’s service in the Royal Artillery in Egypt after Joyce worked in a munition’s factory with George’s sister.

Joyce, 86, said: “He wanted someone to write to so I wrote to him for four years.

“George proposed to me in August and we were married on Boxing Day, the same day as my parent’s wedding anniversary.

“It wasn’t a big wedding, you couldn’t have a big wedding then.

“We had quite a few people there but the wedding was at my parent’s house.”

At the end of the Second World War rationing was still heavily in place and people made best use of what they had.

Joyce added: “Our wedding cake was a small sponge cake in a cardboard box.”

George, 89, was married in his uniform at the festive ceremony.

Despite marrying at a time when the country was just starting to recover from a period of turmoil, the couple have stuck with each other for the last 65 years, raising a large family in the process.

“We are having a meal just after Christmas and there will 33 of us there!” said Joyce.

“Our eighth great-grandchild will be born in July.

“We’ve been fed up with each other a few times, but that’s just part and parcel of a good marriage.”

The pair received their second car from the Queen for this milestone anniversary.

The couple moved to Hemel Hempstead in 1958, living in Gadebridge and Leverstock Green before moving to Adeyfield seven years ago.

Both have held a number of jobs over the years, with George being a postman for a period of time and both Joyce and George working at Kodak.