He got to the church - just in time

IT needed a mad dash from London to Ipswich for this diamond-wedding bridegroom to get to church on time in 1942. Tony Stowe, a member of the Royal Artillery during World War Two, got back to Ipswich just half an hour before he was due to get married to his wife-in-waiting Ivy.

IT needed a mad dash from London to Ipswich for this diamond-wedding bridegroom to get to church on time in 1942.

Tony Stowe, a member of the Royal Artillery during World War Two, got back to Ipswich just half an hour before he was due to get married to his wife-in-waiting Ivy.

Time was already in short supply for the couple after Mr Stowe, now 83, was granted just 42 hours leave to get married. Then he was called on to collect a prisoner from London and bring him back to Ipswich – on the morning of his wedding.

Wife Ivy, now 81, recalls: "I was getting a bit worried, I thought that he might not get back."


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After finally getting to the Burlington Road Baptist Church, the couple tied the knot but that was not the end of the drama.

Ivy explains: "The best man was posted abroad before the wedding so he couldn't do it. My brother agreed to do it but before the wedding he fell over and broke his arm. This meant my husband had to ask one of his other friends who was coming to the wedding – but he didn't know anything about it until he got to the church."

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The couple, who live in Nacton Road, Ipswich, met during the war at the Woodbridge Road drill hall.

Ivy was on fire-watch across the road at Phillip and Piper Ltd. She said: "I went over with one of my friends who was going to meet her boyfriend. "When she went off with him I stood talking to Tony, who was on guard."

"We made a date there and then but before he asked me out he marched me in front of some bus lights so that he could see what I looked like."

They celebrated their occasion with a family gathering at their daughter's house. They have one daughter, Patricia, 56.

"We have had a marvellous life and we never argue," said Ivy. "My husband has a marvellous sense of humour."

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