Sheffield wartime penpals happy to celebrate anniversary

George & Emily arrive at the suprise party
George & Emily arrive at the suprise party
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Their romance blossomed across the seas and the first time they met he ended up spending the night at the police station - but that didn’t stop love.

George and Emily Turton celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary today.

George & Emily on their wedding day in 1948

George & Emily on their wedding day in 1948

The couple were wartime penpals for a couple of years before ever setting eyes on each other, and both have clear memories of that first meeting.

Emily, aged 88, said: “I was in the Land Army in Buckinghamshire and George was in the Navy.

“We were writing to each other through the war for two years before we met, because George was in Singapore. He came to see me where I was stationed. We met at the train station as I returned to Buckinghamshire from London.”

But things were not quite that simple as George recalls, because they originally had a mix-up about where to meet. He said: “I was a bit annoyed because I was supposed to meet her in London, at St Pancras, but she had gone back to her digs in Slough by the time I got there.

George & Emily arrive at the suprise party

George & Emily arrive at the suprise party

“I followed her to Slough but it was so late by the time I was leaving I missed the last train so the police station put me up for the night!

“I tell everybody she got me locked up the first time we met.”

After the war George was demobbed and came home to Sheffield. He soon asked Emily to join him and she lived at his mother’s house for six months before they married.

They tied the knot at St Paul’s Church in Arbourthorne and never looked back.

George forged a career in the steel industry and worked as a moulder for 40 years before moving on to engineering for a further 13 years.

The pair now live at Brunswick Retirement Village in Woodhouse and were joined by family and friends for a surprise party on Saturday, including pals they hadn’t seen for more than five decades.

George and Emily have five children, 14 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

So what is the secret behind their happy marriage?

Emily, nee Parkinson, said: “We have always pulled together and if we have had a bit of an argument we have always made up. We have never gone to bed or to work on an argument. It is all about give and take.

“If you think a lot of each other you always help each other out and we have got a good family.”

And if you ask George, 86, he jokes: “I used to be more trouble than I am now.”

Then adds: “I have an understanding wife. We have always got by without too much trouble.

“We have always had a good time and enjoyed ourselves.”