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Ipswich GI brides share memories at reunion in Nashville

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 23:01 08 November 2019

Members of the Ipswich Ladies group at the Club Hotel, Nashville. Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

Members of the Ipswich Ladies group at the Club Hotel, Nashville. Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

IPSWICH LADIES

A group of 'GI brides' who are all originally from Ipswich have just met up in Nashville for their annual reunion.

Ruth Bugg- Robertson and Lynne Coleman-Doughty at the Gaylord Opryland, Nashville, Tennessee Picture: IPSWICH LADIESRuth Bugg- Robertson and Lynne Coleman-Doughty at the Gaylord Opryland, Nashville, Tennessee Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

The women in the group, who have lived in the US for decades, all met their husbands at East Anglian bases, including RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge and Mildenhall, after the Second World War and during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

They now keep in touch through their own Facebook page, called, "We are the ladies from Ipswich living around the world," and hold an annual get-together, choosing a different American city each year.

Helen Burcham, Ruth Bugg- Robertson, Gillian Thailing, Lynne Coleman-Doughty and Kim Rich-Missi at the Grand Ole Opry. Picture: IPSWICH LADIESHelen Burcham, Ruth Bugg- Robertson, Gillian Thailing, Lynne Coleman-Doughty and Kim Rich-Missi at the Grand Ole Opry. Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

This year Nashville, Tennessee was the meeting-point. The group members spent five days laughing, eating, drinking, catching up and reminiscing, as well as taking in the sights and entertainment of Nashville.

Despite having lived in America for almost all their adult lives, the members still call Ipswich home and visit their families in the town as often as possible. They spent a lot of time reminiscing about growing up there.

Gillian Prior-Stupka and Ron Stupka, who have been married for 55 years. Picture: IPSWICH LADIESGillian Prior-Stupka and Ron Stupka, who have been married for 55 years. Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

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Cyndi Ness Erickson said: "The gathering is an annual highlight and often bitter-sweet, as we all miss our families in Ipswich."

Cousins Cyndi Ness-Erickson and Denise Welham-Justinger at the Grand Ole Opry. Picture: IPSWICH LADIESCousins Cyndi Ness-Erickson and Denise Welham-Justinger at the Grand Ole Opry. Picture: IPSWICH LADIES

Tatty Trafton (Matcham) said, "Nashville was a great historic place to visit, but it is really about the friendships of all the Ipswich ladies. We truly care about each other and between reunions we constantly communicate."

The members travelled from every corner of the USA, Wisconsin, New York, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Nebraska, Florida, Mississippi, Maine, Kentucky and Costa Rica,

They visited Nashville's musical attractions including Music Row, and took a river boat cruise on the General Jackson down the Cumberland river, as well as enjoying dinner and a live show. They also got tickets for the Grand Ole Opry's 94th birthday bash, where they were entertained by some of the country music legends.

Next year's reunion is already being planned, and will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

READ MORE - Ipswich GI brides get together at reunion in Texas

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