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Army couple celebrate 70th anniversary at Royal Star & Garter

A couple who met at a dance while they were both serving in the Army has celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at a Surbiton care home.

Jack and June Keith marked their platinum anniversary on Tuesday 21 March with a celebratory lunch laid on by staff at Royal Star & Garter, where they both live.

The couple will also enjoy a large family gathering at the Home’s Garden Room on Saturday 25 March.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity also has married couples living in its other Homes, in Solihull and High Wycombe.

Jack and June met at a dance in Scotland while in the Army. Jack, 91, did his National Service with the Seaforth Highlanders between 1950 and 1952, and was a Physical Trainer. June, 94, signed up in 1950 and served in the Women’s Royal Army Corps for three years.

Recalling how they met, Jack said: “June’s unit wanted to use our gym for a dance, and because it was our gym, we were allowed to attend too. I saw this beautiful woman walk in and thought ‘Oh God, I’m going to marry her!’. Luckily for me, the fellow she was with had to go early, so I went up to her, and that was it!

Now great grandparents, the couple married in Aberdeen in 1953, and after leaving the Army, Jack worked as a bus driver in Scotland. After raising their children, June worked as a switchboard operator.

Jack added: “It’s been a wonderful 70 years. I have a good wife and I can’t fault her. I’ve been very lucky.

The couple also received a card from His Majesty King Charles III. It read: “My wife and I were so pleased to hear that you are celebrating your Platinum wedding anniversary on 21st March 2023. This brings you warmest congratulations and heartfelt good wishes on this happy occasion.” The card is signed by both The King and The Queen Consort.

Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents to Surbiton. For more information on this, or to work at the Home, go to www.starandgarter.org/surbiton

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