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Platinum anniversary for wartime Birdingbury couple

Bill and Dink Cowley - 70th Wedding Anniversary.

Bill and Dink Cowley - 70th Wedding Anniversary.

A whirlwind wartime romance saw a country boy marry a city girl and 70 years later they are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.

Bill and Dink Cowley from Birdingbury celebrated 70 years of marriage on Wednesday.

Mr Cowley was raised in the village of Marton near Rugby, while Mrs Cowley was born in St Pancras, London.

The couple met in Weymouth during the Second World War in 1943.

Mr Cowley was a signalman and served in the Royal Artillery, while Mrs Cowley was a telephonist in the ATS - the woman’s branch of the British Army - and both were stationed at Nothe Fort in Weymouth.

Six months later, after a whirlwind romance, the couple married on January 29 1944.

Mrs Cowley borrowed her sister’s wedding dress for the big day because she didn’t want to get married in uniform.

A few months after their wedding Mr Cowley took part in the D-Day operations, followed by a spell at Pickering where he trained for jungle warfare.

He was finally sent out to the Middle East as part of a peacekeeping mission, where he received his demob in 1946.

Mr Cowley returned to work at the cement works in Southam where he had been before the war.

Whilst at work he was injured during an industrial accident when he was crushed by an overhead crane and was at the point of death.

Mr Cowley was off work for three and a half years and initially spent nine months receiving specialist care in Middlesex Hospital in London. Mrs Cowley continued to nurse him when he was back home.

He went back to the cement works when he was better doing lighter duties until he retired after 45 years of service.

The couple had two sons. Brian sadly drowned at nine years of age in 1954.

Their other son Graham was 22 when he died in a car accident in 1970.

The couple also have a daughter Carol who is married to Paul King.

Graham never saw his daughter Terry as she was born a few months after his death.

Terry has given the couple six great grandchildren and they also have three great-great grandchildren.

The couple have spent most of their married life living in Birdingbury.

Over the years they have been keen gardeners and have often won prizes at their local annual produce show.

They also enjoyed ballroom dancing, whist drives and bingo. They spent their anniversary at home with friends, family and neighbours celebrating their special day.

 

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