Warnham couple who met during Second World War dances to celebrate 70th wedding anniversary
A Warnham couple who met at dances held during the Second World War are set to celebrate 70 years of marriage.
Pam and Gerald Etherton will mark their platinum anniversary on Tuesday, February 4.
They first met in Horsham in 1942 when Gerald was an army cadet and Pam a member of the Girls’ Training Corps.
They were both finishing their schooling, Gerald at Collyer’s and Pam at the high school, when they would meet in the evenings for dances, held at local schools and the ATC headquarters in Denne Road, until Gerald was called up for national service.
“I trained in England but then went to Germany,” said Horsham-born Gerald, 91.
“It was a real eye-opener. The war was over, but in 1946 and ‘47 there was still a lot of damage.”
Meanwhile, Pam was training as a nurse at St Helier Hospital, Carshalton.
She returned to Horsham to continue her nursing career at the hospital, and after Gerald’s return from Germany, they began dancing together again.
They were married on February 4, 1950, at St John’s Catholic Church in Springfield Road.
“The time goes by, and you don’t realise,” said Pam, now 92. “We’ve been very lucky.”
They have lived in Bell Road, Warnham, since 1964.
Gerald’s career included working for the Rural District Council, Peter Dominic wine merchant in the Carfax and at Lloyds Bank, while Pam gave up her nursing career to look after their children.Later, she took on part-time shop work in Rushams Road.
They are now both members of the Royal British Legion and the Warnham Seniors Club.
Pam and Gerald have three children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren who, along with friends will be coming together to celebrate their special anniversary.