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15 October 2014
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A Wartime Romance

by Wymondham Learning Centre

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Archive List > Love in Wartime

Contributed by 
Wymondham Learning Centre
People in story: 
Eric and Catherine Andrew
Location of story: 
Leeds, Durban, Palestine, Alexandria, Cyprus
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
11 April 2005

This story was submitted to the BBC People’s War site by Wymondham Learning Centre on behalf of the author who fully understand the site's terms and conditions.

I was born in Leeds and was 19 when the war began. I joined the Royal Army Pay Corps in 1940 and was immediately sent to the Middle East. We didn’t go through the Mediterranean Sea, but we went right around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

I spent my 21st birthday in Durban and went through the Suez Canal and then by train to Palestine. We arrived there in May 1941 and the following Winter was the coldest for 20 years! We had deep snow in Jerusalem!

In 1942, I was sent to Cyprus, where it was much warmer, thankfully! I had joined up as a Private, but when I left Cyprus and I was sent back to Jerusalem to deal with the Officers pay I was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1943, I was sent to Alexandria and as many of the population were Greek, I decided to learn the language. My Greek teacher was a very attractive Greek girl called Catherine Saccou. She had been educated at a French Lycee in Egypt and spoke five languages. Her parents had a business in Alexandria but she took a job as a civilian clerk with the Army and became my Greek teacher.

We fell in love and were married at St Marks Church, Mohammed Ali Square in Alexandria as soon as the war ended. I still think Catherine is very attractive and we will be celebrating our Golden Wedding in the Summer of 2005.

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