Diamond Day

A couple who were once reunited after a bride took an epic 32-day boat journey to the Far East are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Kathleen and Gordon Saunders, from St Ives, met the day after VE Day and married in Surrey on December 13, 19

A couple who were once reunited after a bride took an epic 32-day boat journey to the Far East are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

Kathleen and Gordon Saunders, from St Ives, met the day after VE Day and married in Surrey on December 13, 1947.

The pair met through Kathleen's cousin and Mrs Saunders recalls that when Gordon came to pop the question it was not the most romantic occasion.

"He said: 'Would your mum and dad let us get married?' and I said: 'I don't know, you'd have to ask them," Kathleen, 79, said.

Gordon, 78, added: "I asked her dad and he said to ask her mum. She told me: 'You make your bed, you lay in it,' which I took to be a blessing."

Just a month after the wedding Gordon was posted to the Far East with the Royal Air Force. The couple were apart for a number of months before Gordon was posted to Hong Kong and Kathleen set sail from the UK to join her husband.

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"It was an awfully long journey but our time in Hong Kong was absolutely wonderful," she said.

Gordon remained in the RAF until 1969 when he and Kathleen moved to St Ives.

The couple have three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. One of their grandchildren, John Ruddy, is a professional goalkeeper with Everton FC.

The pair will celebrate their anniversary with a party at the Royal British Legion.

And the secret of a long and happy marriage? "Don't take life too seriously," Gordon said. Kathleen added: "You have a row, you make it up - it is give and take.

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