Jack and Doris – still dancing

A COUPLE who met on her first day at primary school will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thursday). Burma veteran Jack Long, 87, and his wife Doris, 83, from Great Stukeley, met when Doris started school. Jack, then aged nine, was a fr

A COUPLE who met on her first day at primary school will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thursday).

Burma veteran Jack Long, 87, and his wife Doris, 83, from Great Stukeley, met when Doris started school. Jack, then aged nine, was a friend of her older brother, Vic.

However, they did not start courting until they had left school and Jack had fought in Burma during the Second World War.

Jack said: "I was away for four and a half years and in that time Doris and I had no communication."


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Doris admitted: "I was just 16 when he left - not old enough to be with a young man! But I did think of him often."

The couple grew up in London. During the war years, Jack's family were bombed out and unknown to Jack, serving in the Far East, his mother had moved in just two doors down from Doris's home.

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When Jack finally returned, he had no idea of the coincidence until a street party that evening, where the pair danced for the first time. "We've danced every year since, and we're still dancing today," says Doris, proudly. There will certainly be dancing at their anniversary celebration on Saturday to which 150 guests are invited.

Those fighting in Burma were known as "the forgotten army" during the war, but today Jack remembers his time there as strongly as ever. Last week, he finally received three medals for his wartime service, the Burma Star Medal, the Overseas Star and the Defence Medal. He was persuaded by his daughter-in-law, Anita, to fill in a request form after 60 years.

Jack and Doris married in Turnham Green, Chiswick, a year after their first dance. They lived there until 1988, and they had four sons, including twins.

"Twins run in both my family and Jack's," explained Doris. "So we should have expected to have twins ourselves."

They have seven grand- children.

So what is the secret to a long and happy marriage? "A laugh a day," says Doris. "Not a day goes by when we don't have a good laugh about something.

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