70-year anniversary for Sailor and Doll

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 April 2015

Sailor and Doll Brown celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a party with family and friends at Escot Village Hall on Saturday. The couple were married on 31 March 1945 in Oswestry in Shropshire. Ref sho 2070-14-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Sailor and Doll Brown celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a party with family and friends at Escot Village Hall on Saturday. The couple were married on 31 March 1945 in Oswestry in Shropshire. Ref sho 2070-14-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

The story begins with a chance meeting in a pub, which led to true love for forces sweethearts 'Sailor' and 'Doll' Brown.

A chance meeting in a pub led to true love for forces sweethearts ‘Sailor’ and ‘Doll’ Brown - who have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

The couple, of Gosford Lane, Taleford, who married on March 31, 1945, marked the special occasion with family and friends at Escot Village Hall and later reminisced on seven decades of marriage.

Seth and Sophia - known as Sailor and Doll – first met in Oswestry, Shropshire, when he was home on leave from the navy.

Doll, 95, so-named because she was so tiny at birth, was employed as a cook in the army.

“It must have been love at first sight,” said Sailor, 89.

He went on to tell the story of his ‘spur of the moment’ proposal when he came home on leave and asked Doll to marry him.

They wed that same day in a register office, with just their friends and Sailor’s sister in attendance at such short notice.

Sailor was 19 at the time and Doll 25.

“We used to write to each other when we were separated,” said Sailor, who is able to recite word for word a poem that Doll sent him during their time apart.

Many of these letters were lost when Sailor was coming back from France with the navy and his craft went down. He was left with nothing but the tunic he wore.

Sailor left the navy in January, 1946, and he and Doll moved to her home county of Devon, where they stayed in one of her uncle’s cottages.

It was from joining Feniton football team that Sailor gained his nickname - a nod to his military background.

In 1951, the couple moved into the house in Gosford Lane that they still call home today.

Their four children, Ruth, Rita, Jennifer and David, attended Ottery St Mary Primary School.

The pair now have 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and another one on the way.

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