Maidenhead couple celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

James Harrison

A couple honoured by the Queen and a pope have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

It was in 1941 that Maidenhead-born Betty Buckley, 91, met Scottish engineer James, 95, who was stationed at White Waltham Airfield during the Second World War.

After walking her home and arranging a date at the Pond House pub, in Bath Road, the next day, romance seemed to be blossoming – until he was given the shock news that he was about to be transferred to India.

Trusting a friend with a letter, and giving him half a crown (12.5p) to seal the deal, James made sure he was able to let Betty know where he was going.

Although they didn’t see each other again until 1946, they waited for each other and that year they married in James’s hometown of Tranent, near Edinburgh.

Speaking about the separation, she said: “All the time he was abroad I never bothered with anyone else. Thank God he came back safe.”

Moving back to Maidenhead, by 1952 they had settled at a home in Larchfield Road where, although James has had to move to a nearby home due to illness, Betty still lives with son John.

For their 60th anniversary the couple, who have two children, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, received a certificate from Pope Benedict XVI and for this year’s milestone, which was marked on Wednesday, October 12, they received a card from the Queen.

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