Big anniversary for wartime couple

IT'S 67 years since Barbara Nunn said yes when Fred Boggis popped that vital question at the height of the blitz - and he's still as romantic as ever.She teases him about his romantic side, but like most women she is secretly thrilled and delighted that her husband still dotes on and loves her more than ever, and they are still together after nearly seven decades at a time when so many marriages fail.

IT'S 67 years since Barbara Nunn said yes when Fred Boggis popped that vital question at the height of the blitz - and he's still as romantic as ever.

She teases him about his romantic side, but like most women she is secretly thrilled and delighted that her husband still dotes on and loves her more than ever, and they are still together after nearly seven decades at a time when so many marriages fail.

Mr Boggis declared his undying love for his wife with a newspaper announcement and a red rose - “Thank you my dear for saying yes that wonderful night, 67 years, ago, forever yours, love Freddy” - to mark the anniversary of their engagement.

“I love her so much - much, much more than I did then, and she has always been the only one for me,” said Mr Boggis.


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“I still write her special cards and letters to tell her. I have boxes of letters I have written to her.”

Mrs Boggis said: “He can be a little bit jealous even now. It is lovely the way he is - when I look around and see so many people today not staying together, I think how lucky we are. I don't think there will be very many golden and diamond weddings in the future.”

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The couple were married five months after that proposal, but then separated for three years by the second world war.

He had been due to join up with an RAF squadron but plans changed after it was wiped out on a mission over Malta. He was then sent instead to serve in Canada, an engine fitter helping to build planes to train air navigators ready to take part in the conflict in Europe.

“It was very hard, but it was war and everyone accepted it - it was what happened and you didn't think much about it,” said Mrs Boggis, now 86.

“I wasn't the only one because many of my friends had married and their husbands had gone off to serve. I was lucky really because I was still here and living with my family with people around me.”

In Canada, Mr Boggis though was missing his new wife like mad.

“I was really lonely - I was missing Barbara, and I was not even where the war was!” he said.

“We wrote to each other every day - though the letters would often arrive all together. I never saw her when she was 21 or 22 - she was 23 when I got back.”

The couple - who live in Boulge Road, Hasketon - first met at a fair at Woodbridge when they were just 14. He came from Bealings, where his family owned the Admiral's Head, and she was born on Market Hill in Woodbridge.

After the war, it was like being married afresh with plenty of time to catch up on.

Mr Boggis, now 87, worked for his father's transport firm for many years, and the couple ran the post office and village shop at Hasketon for 27 years. In 1972 he set up his own haulage firm, but gave this up in 1984 after their only daughter Linda died at the age of 35 from a brain tumour.

The couple have three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Do you know anyone married longer than 65 years? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788.

FASTFACTS: 1940

This was the year of the Battle of Britain as Hitler declared he would destroy London, and of the great Dunkirk rescue as Churchill's determination to win the war grew stronger.

Hitler invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Luxembourg.

Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated while living in exile in Mexico City.

Gone with the Wind won the Oscar for the best film, John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath won the Pulitzer prize for literature, and the first Bugs Bunny cartoon was made.

Due to shortages and soaring inflation, the cost of British living was rising sharply - it rose by 83 per cent from 1939 to 1943.

Everyone in Britain - more than 38 million - had been issued with a gas mask and 1.5 million ARP wardens had been appointed.

At the height of the blitz, 20,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in a day.

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