Diamond celebration for Dunkirk veteran

Arthur and Connie Ward who are celebrating the Diamond Wedding.
Arthur and Connie Ward who are celebrating the Diamond Wedding.
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THEY met at a dance at the City Hall Ballroom and 60 years on, Dunkirk survivor Arthur and his wife Connie Ward are still making sweet music together.

The couple, from Lodge Lane, Aston, are enjoying belated diamond wedding celebrations - plans for the original anniversary last December had to be cancelled due to the winter blizzards.

A large family party at their home made sure their big anniversary was marked with a proper celebration.

Arthur, now 92, already had lived life to the full when he met his bride to be in 1948.

The lad, who has lived in Aston and Swallownest all his life, had six years of wartime experiences behind him, joining the Army’s 70th Field Regiment in 1939.

Evacuated from Dunkirk, he was sent back to France as part of a desperate attempt to stop Hitler’s onslaught, only just escaping from Cherbourg day’s before the country’s surrender.

Arthur went on to fight at El Alemein, in Sicily and then during the long Italian campaign, reaching Austria as the Third Reich fell.

Meanwhile, Connie, who is now 85, was doing her bit working for Steel, Peach and Tozer in Sheffield, experiencing the full force of the blitz when she lived on Attercliffe Common.

“We met while dancing at the ballroom and married two years later at Aston Church,” Arthur said.

“Connie is marvellous, she is still very fit even though she has been a diabetic for 64 years - in that time we reckon she has had 27,000 injections!” Arthur said.

“Our secret of a happy marriage is something I heard when I was young.

“If you have an argument, don’t wake up with it. We can fall out at any time but it’s always over 30 minutes later.”

Arthur is still very active, too, and is a regular at Bramall Lane where he has hardly missed a home game since 1951.

After his time in the forces, he had a successful career in the building trade, working his way up from a bricklayer, to a foreman to a clerk of works with Rotherham Council.

Family from all over area came to help the couple celebrate at their the big party, with Connie and Arthur now having two sons, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.