The Queen has congratulated a couple on their 75th wedding anniversary. Reg and Joan Elliot received a letter from Her Majesty who will celebrate her 70th anniversary with Prince Philip in November.
Reg and Joan, both 94, married in 1942 after Reg completed his training in the Royal Artillery as a skilled mechanic. Reg told the Express about how their marriage came to be: “I was soon going to be sent overseas, so we made a quick decision.
“Joan was going to get a marriage allowance of about 75 pence a week, so that swung it, and we married in Uxbridge Register Office, with just one witness, no guests, no photos and no presents.
“We spent our honeymoon at my parents’ house in Portsmouth, which was bombed night after night. Then, I was sent to the 8th Army in the Western Desert, and Joan went into the RAF. We didn’t know when we would see each other again.”
The couple was separated for four years while Reg fought in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Once the war ended, his wife managed to get a ride on a ship carrying POWs home, and they were reunited in Naples.
Reg continued to serve in the Army, living in Italy and Austria; they had one son, Clifford, who was in ten different schools growing up.
After his career in the Army had concluded, Reg became a teacher. He was affectionately called “Mackay” after the prison officer in Porridge, a BBC comedy.
The Elliot’s retired to Spain in a home in Nerja on the Costa del Sol. Reg told the Express the secret of living a long and happy life: “I just do what I’m told!”
Their son Clifford, 68, said his parents were thrilled to get a letter from The Queen. “Having both seen service in the war it means so much to get a message from The Queen, who was in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorials,” he said.
“It would be wonderful if The Queen and Prince Philip can do the same as Mum and Dad and reach 75 years.”