Ipswich: Couple reveal secret to their 70 years of wedded bliss

IPSWICH: It was the year the world was at war and yet for one couple, it was the start of their beautiful marriage together.

Second World War veteran Ronnie Johns, 91, and his wife Irene, 90, have just celebrated seven decades of wedded bliss and admit they are still very much in love.

The pair, of Mayo Court, Waterford Road, met in Hepburn, Newcastle, on Remembrance Sunday in 1940 when she gave him a poppy to mark Armistice Day.

The lovebirds were married two years later in a Newcastle register office before Mrs Johns took her new husband home and introduced her mum to her new son-in-law for the first time.

Mrs Johns, who was one of 19 children, said: “I felt sorry for Ronnie when I first met him because I knew what he was going to have to go through with me but it was love straightaway.”

The couple, who have six children, moved to Ipswich in 1946 and lived in Norwich Road for 46 years before moving to their current home.

Mr Johns served in the Royal Navy as an anti-aircraft gunner, survived 19 Arctic Convoys between September 1941 and March 1944, served aboard HMS London and HMS Savage and helped to sink the German battleship Scharnhorst on Boxing Day in 1943.

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Mrs Johns said they had their ups and downs in marriage but are still very much in love as the day they met.

“Everybody has their ups and downs. It’s not always wonderful but we have got a marvellous family and not one of them have let us down,” she added.

“If other mothers had families like mine then they are very fortunate.”

After retiring Mr and Mrs Johns enjoyed month-long holidays to various European destinations.

Daughters Sheila Verrall and Sonia Sampson took their parents out for a meal at The Alex in Felixstowe to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on January 24.

Mr and Mrs Johns have 18 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren, making their family one of five generations.

n Have you celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary? Call newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk