Being married for 68 years like The Queen and Prince Philip have been is a remarkable achievement but a couple from Lancashire have topped this. Gordon and Alice Mitchell have recently received a telegram from Her Majesty congratulating them on 75 years of marriage.
The couple, both aged 95, were delighted with their formal letter from The Queen which read, “My congratulations to you on achieving the remarkable milestone of your 75th wedding anniversary and I send you my best wishes for 6th June 2015.”
Mr and Mrs Mitchell were married on 6th June 1940 though just hours before her wedding, Alice Mitchell was milking
a cow on her family’s farm. Following their marriage, their planned honeymoon in Cumbria was cut short when Gordon Mitchell was called up to join the Army with the Cheshire Regiment, Britain was at the height of the Second World War after all.
Though Mr Mitchell was initially posted to Ireland, he did serve in India before joining the North Africa Desert Rats in 1943, seeing action in El Alamein, moving through Sicily and eventually on to the Italian mainland where he was captured by the Nazis and held as a prisoner of war until the Allied victory. To say that Mr and Mrs Mitchell’s early married life was eventful would be a massive understatement. Alice Mitchell had been informed of her husband’s capture and hoped for his safe return up until the day he came home.
Speaking of his father’s war experiences, Gordon Mitchell junior said, “Of course she didn’t really know where he was or whether he would return safely, and he was held for about a year. It was the longest time they were apart from each other in their entire marriage and I don’t think its a time either of them will ever forget.”
Gordon and Alice met in 1935 when they were both working as farmhands in Lancashire though waited another five years before tying the knot. Speaking of their 75 years of marriage, Mr Mitchell commented, “We both feel very lucky to
still have each other and to be able to enjoy every day with one another, surrounded by our family.”
Though not having quite reached Mr and Mrs Mitchell’s remarkable milestone, The Queen and Prince Philip are not far behind them, having been married for 68 years this November. Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten were married at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947 and the ceremony was broadcast to over 200 million radio listeners across the world. Their honeymoon was spent at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.
Speaking of his parents marriage, Gordon Mitchell said, “They both worked hard throughout their lives providing a family environment for my sister and I.” Mr and Mrs Mitchell’s daughter, Alice, died in 2010.
“They may have been married for 75 years but they’ve known one another for more than 80 years and they both feel very privileged to have one another” Mr Mitchell concluded.
The couple’s anniversary was celebrated at Euxton Parish Church in Lancashire where they were surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Photo Credit: Archives New Zealand
Featured Photo Credit: Northern Ireland Office/MTHurson/ Harrions