Devoted St Ives couple, Mary and George Smoker, who once worked for Sir Winston Churchill, will be celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary next

Mary and George Smoker on thier wedding dayMary and George Smoker on thier wedding day

Stationed in Hong Kong in 1949, after the country resumed its British sovereignty following the end of Japanese occupation in 1945, George started writing letters to Mary.

He said: “I was serving in the Far East and my friend, Able, told me about Mary and said that I should write to her, so I did.”

The pair finally met in London in 1951, after a year of exchanging letters, and they fell in love.

The couple were engaged on Mary’s 21st birthday in 1951, in Salisbury, with George saying to Mary: “I am sick of being away, shall we get married?”

A telegram from Winston ChurchhillA telegram from Winston Churchhill

The pair married on April 17, 1954, at St Mary’s Church in Dorset.

George said: “It was a lovely day, but it was bitter cold. Mary looked beautiful and it was just a great day.”

Mr and Mrs Smoker, both 88, went to Devon on their honeymoon in Mary’s father’s car, where they spent two-weeks celebrating their marriage.

George left the army following their wedding and went to work for Winston Churchill on his farm in Chartwell, where he helped look after cattle.

George and Mary Smoker were sent a card from the Queen for their 60th, and still have it five years laterGeorge and Mary Smoker were sent a card from the Queen for their 60th, and still have it five years later

Mary said: “We lived next door to [Sir Winston], and George worked for him for a couple of years until he became injured so he couldn’t. We were there for two years, and my eldest son was also born in our house next door.

“He was a very nice man to be around, and we would spend a lot of time with him, and even go to the cinema with him.”

After working for Sir Winston, the pair moved to Burtellars, in St Ives, in 1962, where George worked as a factory manager at an industrial site.

The pair have four children, David, 62, Elaine, 60, Graham, 57, and Carol, 56. They also have 14 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

George: “I don’t know what the secret to a great marriage is. I think it is just getting along. We have had some really fun times, with memories that we will remember forever.”

Mary said: “Never got to bed without kissing goodnight.”

George replied: “I won’t even leave the house without giving Mary a kiss goodbye.”