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Getting Married in December 1941

by cornwallcsv

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Love in Wartime

Contributed by 
cornwallcsv
People in story: 
George and Betty Armitage
Location of story: 
Bradford
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A6424661
Contributed on: 
26 October 2005

On Christmas Day 1941, Jessie's fiance George, rang to say he was being posted abroad, had three days' embarkation leave and wanted them to marry before he went. They had a week to get ready. Jessie went for a special licence, as no banns had been called.
No shops were open until Monday December 29th, when her friend Anne dashed round to find material for dresses, as she insisted she had 'a proper wedding'.
Anne was an apprentice dressmaker and stayed up nearly all night on Monday and Tuesday sewing. Her brother-in-law delivered the dresses on December 30th and he didn't notice in the blackout that he was trailing the wedding dress in the mud. When Jessie saw the state of the train she was in tears.
George arrived late on the same day, complete with wedding ring (too big) and a record he'd bought Jessie. They sat on the floor drinking cocoa and listening to the aptly named YOURS sung by Vera Lynn.
December 31st was their wedding day - bright sunshine and a heavy glittering frost. It was all beautiful.
There were tearful goodbyes at the station next day and it was three and a half years before they were together again. But they considered themselves lucky that he came through unharmed, as he was a pilot. George died in 1966 aged just 44. Jessie never remarried - he was her one and only love. She kept the Vera Lynn record until she passed away.
My name is Betty Bell, Jessie's sister.

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