Salmon River couple who met during Second World War happily married for 68 years

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SALMON RIVER - During a time full of fear and war in 1945 England, Jean and Arthur Clissold found love and happiness.

Arthur Clissold and wife Jean hold up a scrapbook page of each other in their younger years. Jean was 16 and Arthur was 20 in the photo, the exact ages the two married in 1945 in England.

Shortly after the Second World War came to an end, the young lovers tied the knot at a simple country wedding.

"I didn't have a wedding dress," said Jean, 84, originally from Offenham, England. "I had a plain blue suit that was a coat and skirt."

At 16, in her white buckskin shoes, a nervous young bride-to-be walked down the aisle to her groom dressed in a polished Canadian Air Force uniform.

The brief ceremony in the historic stone church would be a memory the two would never forget during their pledge of love.

"It was in a beautiful 500-year-old church on the 30th of August," she said.

About 30 family members and friends attended the wedding.

"Everything was rationed," said Arthur.

"I didn't even have a wedding cake," added Jean. "But we had a big barrel of beer," she said with a laugh.

The two met on a snowy April evening, four months before at a dance hall. They talked, laughed and danced the night away.

It was "love at first sight" said Arthur, 89, who was stationed in England during the war. "I was over the moon, I wasn't going to lose her."

A few weeks after that faithful encounter at the dance, the young couple was engaged.

"I had helped her father harvest his crops and after we were finished he wanted to pay me. He said, ‘how much' and I said, ‘I don't want any money, I want your daughter,'"

Arthur said with a laugh.

"He said I would have her one day, but it didn't worry her or me because I was so much in love with her."

And so the couple married, with a love still strong 68 years later.

"I proposed over the River Avon, I slipped a ring on her finger and I said, ‘you're mine now'," he said.

"We're just an old married couple now," Jean smiled at her long time beau.

After the war, the couple moved to Canada and stayed until 1947. They moved back to England where they stayed until 1994 when they moved to their current residence in the Truro area.

Jean said to keep a love strong the key word is ‘sorry.'

"You help each other out. If you make a mistake, just say ‘sorry.' That's a hard word to say but just say it."

Arthur added with a chuckle: "She's also a really good cook, that's the secret."

Jean plans on making a roast dinner today for Valentine's Day.

"We never took too much to valentine's. But as youngsters we bought cards and such," said Arthur.

"My love doesn't die off for her."

The couple, who reside in Salmon River, will celebrate their 69 wedding anniversary in August.

"He says every night, ‘I love you and I will see you tomorrow,"' said Jean.




Organizations: Canadian Air Force

Geographic location: England, Salmon River, Offenham River Avon Canada Truro

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