Teenage sweethearts in Banbury celebrate 72 years of marriage

Elsie and George Beddows celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary today (Friday). They are pictured at Banbury Heights Nursing Home with a celebratory cake. NNL-150626-115138001
Elsie and George Beddows celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary today (Friday). They are pictured at Banbury Heights Nursing Home with a celebratory cake. NNL-150626-115138001

A couple from Banbury are as much in love now as they were 72 years ago as they celebrate their wedding anniversary today (Friday).

George and Elsie Beddows married on June 26 1943 and first met in Dawlish while Mrs Beddows was on holiday and her future husband-to-be was at the Railway Convalescent Home (RCH) in the town.

George and Elsie Beddows pictured on their wedding day on June 26 1943. They are celebrating 72 years of marriage today (Friday). NNL-150626-115153001

George and Elsie Beddows pictured on their wedding day on June 26 1943. They are celebrating 72 years of marriage today (Friday). NNL-150626-115153001

They now live at Banbury Heights Nursing Home on Old Parr Road and celebrated their incredible milestone with some cake.

The couple met when they were both teenagers and despite Mr Beddows living in Birmingham, he wrote to his future wife-to-be every week before travelling three hours on the train to meet her at her home in Cornwall.

Despite the long journey, Mr Beddows regularly travelled down to see his sweetheart for at least a year.

He enrolled in the Royal Air Force on September 3, 1939, the day Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced Great Britain had declared war on Nazi Germany.

He was part of an Allied force sent to the D-Day landings at Dunkirk on June 6 1945 and was also on one of the allied ships heading to Japan when American forces dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the August.

Mrs Beddows enrolled in the Royal Air Force herself in 1940 to work as an auxuliary nurse.

They carried on their relationship in between the service and the Second World War, with Mrs Beddows managing to get two weeks’ leave for the couple’s wedding.

Friends and family combined their ration coupons together to buy cakes, flowers and even Mrs Beddow’s wedding dress on the big day.

The couple had a daughter, Joan Christine Beddows, who died about 20 years ago. They also have four grandchildren.

Speaking about the secret to a long and happy marriage, Mr Beddows, now 97, said: “Do not go to bed without making up. It is really important to talk things through and not end the day on a bad note. We have our own words with one another but we are a team.

“We always make sure we have a fresh start to the day.”