Madehurst couple celebrate 70 years of happiness

A COUPLE who had nine children and now a great-great grand-daughter have celebrated 70 years of marriage.

The pair met when Peter was 19 and Rose 17 by Arundel bowling green.

At the time, Rose and her friend had intended to go to the pictures but it was full and there were no seats available.

Rose and her friend oth had been with a friend when Peter asked Rose for a walk around Swanbourne Lake.

The pair ‘clicked’ and were married later that year at Chichester register office.

But before they could enjoy a honeymoon together, Peter was taken by the Army on the couple’s wedding day for duty in Northern Ireland.

Rose, 87, said: “We came back for a meal and Peter said ‘the Army people are looking for me’.

“I thought ‘oh my God, what is going to happen now. I was quite upset.”

Peter, who had served during World War II in France, Germany and Burma, went to Northern Ireland with his unit, the Medical Corps.

Both from large families themselves, Peter and Rose ended up having nine children, with one baby sadly stillborn.

The eldest, Georgina, is 69, while Sarah is the youngest at 43.

Rose said: “My mother had eight and Peter’s mother had 10, so having a lot of children sort of ran in the family. We’ve loved having such a big family.

“It’s fantastic.”

It is not just a lengthy marriage Peter and Rose have shared.

They have also been based at their same home in Madehurst since 1947.

Peter worked as a forrester on the Del Park Estate, which led to them getting their family home.

And the already large family has kept growing.

Peter and Rose have 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grand children and one great-great grand-daughter.

A party was held for the couple on Saturday at The Spur in Slindon and was attended by around 100 family members to celebrate their long-standing union.

Asked how they have managed to stay married for so long, Rose added: “It’s just give and take, dear.

“We’ve had a very happy marriage.”




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