“We wed 10 days after meeting”

Mr and Mrs Freestone celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary SUS-151109-140318001
Mr and Mrs Freestone celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary SUS-151109-140318001

A couple who married just days after meeting have put their 70 years of married bliss down to ‘give and take’.

Olive and Les Freestone, of Selmeston Road, Eastbourne, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Tuesday (September 15).

Mr and Mrs Freestone met as pen pals during the war. Olive, just 24 at the time, was a driver in the Auxiliary Territorial Service and Les, 25, was an ambulance driver for the Royal Army Medical Corp.

Olive told the Herald, “He wrote to me and said he would like to meet.

“We met at Paddington Station on September 5, 1945 and we married just ten days later.

“From the moment we met, it was like I had known him all my life.”

Olive was taken to meet Les’ family and then on the train to visit her relatives he popped the question.

She said, “I thought, ‘well, I like him so why not?’.

“My mother had quite a shock when we arrived and announced we were getting married.”

The couple tied the knot just ten days later at St Peter’s Church in Stretford. It had been badly bombed and was covered only by tarpaulins on their wedding day.

They honeymooned in Blackpool but Les returned to Yugoslavia two weeks after the wedding – meaning they didn’t see each other for a year.

“People said we didn’t know each other and it wouldn’t last,” said Olive.

“I’d love them to see us sitting next to each other in our arm chairs now.”

The couple had a daughter Lynn, who sadly died of cancer six-and-a-half years ago. They are grandparents to three and great-grandparents to six.

Olive shared their secret, and said, “It’s about give and take and we never forget to tell each other we love each other.”