A couple who met in the RAF celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday.
Fred and Ivy Beviss were thrown a party, including an entertainer and food.
Fred, who was 91 on Tuesday, was the middle one of nine children. The eldest two were girls and the rest boys.
He was born on a farm in Devon, where his father was a farm worker and the family lived in a farm cottage. Ivy was born in Wimbledon.
They met in 1944 when they were both in the RAF. Fred was put on a three-month training course on the Isle of Man, where Ivy and her sister were stationed together.
Fred said: “Every time I could, I used to go to see her. I used to fly across.”
Ivy came out of the RAF in 1946 and Fred came out in 1947 but in later life, both wished they had remained in the forces.
“I was happy in the RAF, I wish I stayed there,” Fred said. “Ivy does as well.”
They were married on November 30, 1946, and for a while, lived in rooms in Storrington, where Fred had lived with relatives from a young age. The couple were then given a council house in West Chiltington and lived there for 38 years.
Fred said: “I worked on the farm for a while but the pay was poor and we had Roy, our older son, so I decided I would have to go somewhere to earn more money.
“I went to work in Storrington for a company making concrete blocks, paving slabs and decorative garden walls. I was there for 33 years and finished my working life there.”
Fred said life in the village was quiet and there was not a lot to do so when he retired in 1985, they moved to Adur Avenue, Durrington.
“I decided I wanted to get nearer to life where everything is more convenient,” he recalled.
The couple have two boys, Roy, who lives in Cornwall, and Colin, who lives in Tarring. They also have two grandchildren.
“Ivy loved children, especially boys,” said Fred. “She was in her element looking after them.
“When the two grandchildren came along, they lived only a quarter-of-an-hour walk away and when their mum was working, Ivy used to go to look after them. She loved doing that.”
After Ivy, who will be 93 on December 18, had a stroke, Fred looked after her for two or three years but she then developed Alzheimer’s Disease and now lives in St Winefrides Residential Home, in St Winefrides Road, Littlehampton. The home organised the anniversary party.
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