Hertfordshire couple celebrate 70th wedding anniversary
PUBLISHED: 10:45 03 September 2011
FIGHTING for his country out in the desert during World War Two meant that Jim Griffiths couldn’t see his new wife of just three weeks for more than three years.
Gladys and Jim had met in February 1941, when Jim went up to see a young lady he was told would like to write to him.
He said as she opened the door it was love at first sight.
By August 16, the happy couple were married at Tottenham register office, near their Enfield homes at the time.
Jim was still serving with the Territorial Army (the 2nd/7 Middlesex Regiment) in this country at the time – a position he was called up to two days before war broke out.
However, within weeks of the marriage, and a honeymoon which saw the couple take their parents to the cinema, Jim was called up to the 7th Armoured Division in north-western Africa.
He would go on to drive for a colonel and like many others witnessed quite some sights – including a huge 300ft high sandstorm on his 21st birthday.
So it was obviously an emotional moment when Jim returned home for the first time in three years, before going on to serve in Italy and France, while also being part of the D-Day efforts.
It was not until he was demobbed in 1946 that the couple could finally start a proper life together and Jim joined the Post Office telephones service.
It’s a life – and indeed marriage – they are still enjoying 70 years on, as this month they celebrated seven happy decades together.
Now living in Wickfield Close, Woolmer Green, where they have been since moving from their Marylands, Hatfield, home of 50 years, the couple marked their anniversary with a party at the Bridge Road day centre.
At the ceremony Gladys, 91, and Jim, 90, were presented with not only the customary card from the Queen, but also a letter of congratulations from the Prince of Wales.
They also shared the enjoyment of their years together, which has included spending a lot of time with their family, travelling up and down the country on Jim’s motorbikes finding various camping sites, as well as a joint passion for music and dancing together.
Gladys told the Welwyn Hatfield Times she believed the secret to their time together was “taking it as it goes, through the ups and the downs”.
A jovial Jim added: “I think she’s enjoyed looking after me!
“We’ve had a lot of good times and support from our family.
“I think part of the key is that I will always walk away from any arguments as well, it’s just not worth it.”
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