Felixstowe: Love letters sparked 70 year romance

WHILE Britain was gripped by war in Europe, millions of servicemen wrote home to their sweethearts with tales of battle and sorrow.

The letters received on the battlefield provided much needed comfort for the soldiers fighting and helped to keep them going.

And for one Felixstowe couple, their correspondence during the conflict sparked off a relationship which has now seen them celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

It was in 1939 in Hertfordshire when William Dell, 92, who was serving in the army, stepped into his cousin’s hairdressers and first laid eyes on Joan Dell, 91.

He was preparing to fight Hitler’s war machine and, after asking if he could write to her from Europe, their relationship blossomed.

Joan said: “He asked who the new young lady was. It all started through letters really.”

Joan and William, of Beatrice Avenue, Felixstowe, would meet regularly when he was on leave and they were married at St Mary’s Church in Ware, Hertfordshire, on August 8, 1942.

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When the war came to an end William was also involved with the drawing up of the German surrender documents and the couple moved to Felixstowe about 25 years ago.

They celebrated the special milestone at Hintlesham Hall last week with their four children – Terry, Jan, Russell and Julian – their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Joan believes a happy family is one of the secrets to a happy marriage.

She added: “We have always got on very well and we have a lovely family and lots of grandchildren – we are very happy.”

? Are you celebrating a special anniversary? Tell us about it by writing to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to starletters@archant.co.uk