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Married just weeks after end of war

Couple celebrate 73rd anniversary

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Married just weeks after end of war

A THATCHAM couple who have mingled with the stars are celebrating a remarkable 73 years of marriage. 

John and Joyce Quince – aged 97 and 93 – tied the knot on May 26, 1945, weeks after the end of the Second World War in Europe. 

The couple, originally from Plaistow, Newham, East London, met at a party and, despite Mrs Joyce being engaged to someone else, Mr Quince swept her off her feet. 

“I don’t think we had a very long courtship, we just got married,” Mr Quince said.  “She was only 19. We came out of the pub and said ‘let’s get married’.” 

Speaking about their 73 years of marriage, Mr Quince said: “It feels quite normal really, to be honest.

“Other than when I worked at Ford’s in Dagenham, we have always worked together. 

“We never argue. I don’t like arguing.

“We have never had anything unless we could afford it.”

After getting married, the couple moved into the pub trade and spent 25 years in the industry, meeting clarinet player Acker Bilk and former England captain Bobby Moore in the 1980s.

Mr Quince was serving in the Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War and was attached to a special repair crew.

He said he was very lucky to avoid a year of the war as he was sent to Connecticut to work on Pratt and Whitney engines.

While in the US, Mr Quince shook hands with world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey. 

The couple retired to Spain for 30 years before moving to Alice Bye Court in Thatcham.

And until three years ago, the nonagenarians used to swim every day.

Mrs Quince said: “I wouldn’t be without him. We had an excellent time in Spain and made good friends there.”

Mr Quince said: “Alice Bye have been brilliant. I love it. It’s a lovely, lovely, beautiful rest home and we’re well looked after.”

The couple have two children, Brenda and David, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

They celebrated their 73rd anniversary at the Dundas Arms, Kintbury. 

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