Wartime romance led to long-lasting partnership


Robert Doman

A COUPLE whose love blossomed during a wartime romance are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.

Fred and Agnes Holloway, of Bagillt, met soon after the Second World War began, but despite spending much of their early years apart, their letters kept their love alive while Fred served with the Royal Navy.

He was awarded the Arctic Star and the keen fisherman maintains a passion for the water, but after 70 years of marriage Land Army girl Agnes told the Leader she remains his biggest catch.

“We met when we were friends at about 16,” Mrs Holloway said.

“We are still very much in love.”

Having met in 1939-40, Fred then served in the navy, escorting the Russian convoys in the war, on Norwegian sweeps and also taking supplies to Singapore as the Allies prepared for a potential invasion of the Far East.

His longest time away was three years but the couple, now both 89, continued to write before getting married at St Mary’s Church in Bagillt just weeks after D-Day.

“We wrote lots of letters,” Mrs Holloway said.

“Things developed and while he was away with the navy and I was billeted in Wrexham picking potatoes with the Land Army.”

Mrs Holloway said the couple went to the cinema in Flint for their honeymoon “because it was all we could do,” adding: “I can’t remember what film we watched because we spent most of the time looking for a £1 note I thought I had dropped on the floor.”

The couple, whose anniversary is tomorrow, have four children, 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grand children.

They have remained at Whelstone, Bagillt all their lives and have lived in three different houses in the same close.

“We have moved three times but only ever had to pass our stuff over the hedge,” Mrs Holloway said.

Mr Holloway, a scaffolder and scrapyard owner after the war, built the couple’s current house at the age of 70.

He said: “If we row then we both forget about it quickly. You get things off your chest and move on.

“The grass is never greener. I was away for a long time at the start but we kept on writing and we have had many happy years together.”

The couple have enjoyed a number of cruises since their retirement, including trips to Dubai and the Canary Islands, where they celebrated their 65th anniversary.

But this year they are staying closer to home, enjoying a meal out with family.

Daughter, Janice, 60, said: “They have been fantastic parents and are always there for us.”

Granddaughter Samantha Roberts, 43, added: “Nana would always be climbing trees and making bows and arrows with us when we were young and I always remember my taid being dressed in his overalls.

“I hope I have their genes because they are both looking great at their age.”

See full story in the Leader

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