Kilmington couple celebrate 70 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 16:32 09 November 2015

Kilmington platinum wedding couple Charles and Mary Dawson with sons Paul and Ian.

Kilmington platinum wedding couple Charles and Mary Dawson with sons Paul and Ian.

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Family party and a card from The Queen mark platinum wedding anniversary

Knowing how to ‘forgive and forget’ is the key to a happy marriage, according to a Kilmington couple.

And Charles and Mary Dawson should know – they have been husband and wife for more than 70 years.

The couple, aged 96 and 91 respectively, celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary last week, when a family party and a card from the Queen were among the highlights of their very special day.

They were joined for a celebration meal at The Salty Monk, in Sidford, by their two sons Paul and Ian and their families.

Charles, a Captain in the Royal Engineers and bomb disposal, was posted to Kent and first met Mary when they were aged 23 and 18 at a village dance in Linton, Kent, close to her parents’ family hop farm.

After a month or so, Charles was posted to North Africa and then on to Italy, but not before he had proposed to Mary. While Charles was away, Mary was busy in the Land Army. Charles returned home to his parents in Grappenhall, Cheshire, in September 1945. In October he went south to Kent to marry Mary at her local church of St Mary’s in Hunton village, followed by a honeymoon in Eastbourne. As petrol was rationed they went by train. However, Charles was called back to duty early and Mary had to continue her service in the Land Army until they were demobbed when Mary joined Charles in Grappenhall.

Asked what the secret to such a long marriage was they both agreed the best way was ‘to forgive and forget’.

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