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15 October 2014
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Olive Ball's Story

by Lancshomeguard

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Olive and Leonard Ball
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Contributed on: 
06 July 2005

This story has been submitted to the People’s War website by Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Olive Ball and has been added to the site with her permission…

I was 20 when I got married. In 1940 Leonard came home and asked if we could get married on his next leave. I agreed and said I would see to all the arrangements. So I spoke to the vicar and sorted everything out. Then I sent a letter to Len and told him the arrangements had been made and to put in for his leave.

As the days went on and the time of the wedding drew near I was still awaiting Len’s reply. Unbeknown to me he had never had the letter, it had gone astray, and he didn’t know the date he was supposed to be getting married.

The morning of the wedding dawned and I decided to go and find him, if he was there that was. I had to catch two trams and finally borrow a phone to contact him. When I told him, he said that he would see me in church and I told him he wouldn’t as the church had been bombed.

We finally got married in the little Church Hall; I wore a pretty blue dress, a smart hat and black shoes, with a spray of carnations. We stood on the platform, with the vicar conducting the service standing on the steps. And to cap it all, the siren went as he began and the all clear sounded, just as he had finished the service.

On our first anniversary Leonard’s ship was torpedoed, but I didn’t know this until a week later. I had gone with a friend to see ‘The Desert Song’ and when I got back a telegram was put into my hand informing me. Then, in the Daily Express they published a list of the men who had been picked up; 22 survivors and he was one of them.

We have now been married for 65 years.

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Message 1 - Olive Ball's Story

Posted on: 06 July 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper


Just a brief note to tell you how very much I enjoyed your story. May your life together long continue.

Best wishes,

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