“I fell hook, line and sinker for him. I was swept away.” - Cringleford couple separated by war celebrate platinum wedding
PUBLISHED: 15:07 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 28 March 2017
Copyright: Archant 2017
They were born and brought up on contrasting continents thousands of miles apart and were forced to spend a year apart because of war.
But a Cringleford couple who were “swept away” with love after their first meeting at a dance will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on April 5.
Lilias and Ted Stanbrook-Evans, 95 and 92, met at Luton Town Hall on November 6, 1945, where they danced to Big Band classics at Luton Town Hall.
Mr Stanbrook-Evans - who was born at the British Military Hospital in Wellington, India, where he lived for 22 years - was on leave from the Indian army when he met his future Liverpool-born wife.
Mrs Stanbrook-Evans, a former Civil Defence Force central control worker in the Second World War, said: “We hit it off. He asked me for another date that night and we met nearly every night after that for the next two months before he went back to India. I fell hook, line and sinker for him. I was swept away.”
Mr Stanbrook-Evans, whose father was a doctor serving the British Raj in the Indian army, told his future wife he wanted to marry her when he left for India in January 1946.
He formally proposed via a letter and the couple were married at the Luton Presbyterian Church, a few months after he was demobbed in 1946.
Between 1940 and 1945, Mrs Stanbrook-Evans worked at the Civil Defence Force central control room in Luton where she tracked enemy planes and let off air raid sirens.
Her future husband fought in India during the war and trained Indian soldiers in ammunition and explosives from 1945-46.
The former soldier, who lost part of his left hand to shrapnel in 1942, retrained as a maths teacher.
The couple moved to Cringleford with their son and daughter in 1962 after Mr Stanbrook-Evans took up a teaching job at the former Henderson boys school, which became the Bowthorpe Comprehensive School.
He was headteacher of that former school when he retired.
Mr Stanbrook-Evans said: “My life has been wonderful.”
The couple have three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
After moving to Cringleford they got heavily involved in their community including setting up a Women’s Institute group.