A Valentine's Day story

D-Day veteran Sid and his wife Jean have been married for 66 years. A former Royal Marine, Sid left service after the war and met Jean in a dance hall in Coventry. After meeting up a few times, they decided to get married.

Shortly after their wedding in 1948, Sid decided to build a house in the Tile Hill area of Coventry and they’ve been living there ever since, raising two sons in the process.

"We just know how to take care of each other. Sid still drives and takes me bowling once a week. When I used to work he would do me a packed lunch every day and take care of the kids. We just used to help each other out, and we still do,"

Sid is now 93 and Jean is 87 but they are still mobile and up until their late 70s were both still travelling. "We've been all over the place," stated Sid. "Always been great travelers and we are just so lucky to still be up and about."

On their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2008, they received a card from Her Majesty the Queen.

"We've been through a lot. I pretty much lost all of my family in the war and Jean came along and gave me a new life," added Sid. 

Asked what the key to a long marriage is Jean stated, with a smile on her face, "Tolerance!"

Sid built their bungalow 66 years ago and he and Jean have lived there together ever since, raising two sons and now entertaining their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

"It wasn't really a romantic proposal. He just said - fancy getting married?"

Sid served in the Royal Marines landing on Juno beach as part of D-Day operations. "We saw what I can only describe as hell let loose", he said.

After the war Sid returned back to the UK and met Jean at a dance. "Sid was a bit a ladies man. He always seemed to be with a different lady," she laughs "but that changed when he met me."

"We both worked after the war but Sid always let me have my independence. If he was on a day off he would pack my lunch and get the car out the garage ready for me to go," said Jean as they talk about managing a family and work commitments together.

On their Diamond wedding anniversary they received a very special message

"We do everything together apart from Thursday when I go off to play bowls with my friends," comments Jean.

"Sid has been dying my hair for years. Always the same colour. It's much cheaper than going to the hairdressers. I just let him get on with it. He knows exactly what he’s doing."

Talking about their marriage Jean commented:

"We’ve shared everything together and I still like to hold his hand. We always hold hands when we go out."

All photos copyright to The Royal British Legion / Alison Baskerville

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