Childhood sweethearts celebrate diamond wedding anniversary

CHILDHOOD sweethearts John and Joan Soanes will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today (Wednesday).

Mr Soanes moved to Yaxley when he was 10 years old.

He met Joan at school and 11 years later they were married in the village’s parish church on April 25, 1942.

After the wedding, Mr Soanes, 91, returned to near Stranraer to a RAF flying boat base where he fitted air to surface radar equipment to Sunderland aircraft. In 1947 he joined the police and was one of the first detectives to use fingerprint technology in investigations.

Mrs Soanes, 93, worked as a teacher in Yaxley and the Peterborough area before they moved to Hemingford Grey where she started to work as a supply teacher.

She was the first resident in Hunters Down Care Centre, Huntingdon, after she was diagnosed with alzheimer’s in 2006.

Mr Soanes said: “She snatched her toyboy. She was gorgeous and still is, but obviously a few things have changed.

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“We married a month after my 21st birthday. It just seems as if we were always meant to be together.

“Our families knew each other really well, and we were always spending time with each other. It’s not just 70 years of marriage, it’s more like 80 years together.”

He added: “Experts say the key to long lasting marriage is having separate lives and different interests but I don’t think that is true. Joan and I have so much in common and like to do the same things. “Tragically, we cannot be together all the time at this time in our lives, but the manager at Hunter’s Down makes it as easy as possible to spend time together. The staff always go out of their way to make me feel welcome.”