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WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
CSV Actiondesk at BBC Oxford
People in story: 
Anne Topham
Location of story: 
Oxford
Article ID: 
A4079748
Contributed on: 
17 May 2005

We met in the blackout in the war. My friend and I were passing St Paul's church when we heard two male voices in the night. One was a beautiful dark brown voice (I always put voices into colours and dark brown was my favourite colour.)
We started talking, and I arranged to meet Jim (dark brown voice) at the cinema. We both wanted the chance to see what we looked like. But just as the film started the auditorium filled with smoke. Somebody had set fire to a seat!
The firemen with all their paraphernalia arrived but everybody just remained in their seats. I sneaked a look at Jim, he had jet, black hair and gleaming white teeth. He was 16, in Oxford because his firm had been bombed out in London.
When I finally saw him in daylight I knew he was the man for me.
Two years on, Jim got called up, and we knew we wanted to marry. Because we were under twenty one, permission was needed from our parents, but both sets objected.
Jim's mother once told me "You only want him for his money". He sent her home two and six a week.
Eventually all relented. Jim was granted 72 hour leave, in that time he had to travel from Lincolnshire, marry and return. I had to get a special licence.
We arrived at St Paul's church in Walton Street in Oxford, where an anxious priest was waiting, he was hijacked from a monastery and had never conducted a wedding before.
It was pouring with rain, and Jim was very late (he'd been stopped by a red cap at Reading station), At last we were married.
There was just time for a cup of tea, a piece of cake before setting off for one night to Virginia Waters (which actually only lasted about four hours).

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