Wartime romance blossomed between teenage neighbours

9/12/2011 (SF) ''Georgina Abery (82) and her husband Edwin Abery (81) from Portchester, who are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary on Thursday 15th December 2011.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114322-6136)
9/12/2011 (SF) ''Georgina Abery (82) and her husband Edwin Abery (81) from Portchester, who are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary on Thursday 15th December 2011.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114322-6136)

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Edwin Abery didn’t just fall for the girl next door – he married her.

He was living in Copnor when a new family moved into the next house in their street and he met Georgina.

9/12/2011 (SF)  ''Edwin Abery and his wife Georgina Abery on their wedding day on the 15th December 1951.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114322-6086)

9/12/2011 (SF) ''Edwin Abery and his wife Georgina Abery on their wedding day on the 15th December 1951.''Picture: Sarah Standing (114322-6086)

Her family had been evacuated to Leamington Spa during the Second World War and had just returned to the Portsmouth area.

Soon a romance had blossomed between the two teenagers.

‘My family bought the house next door to his and I was 16 then,’ remembers Georgina.

‘He was just coming up for 16 and we started to go out together.

‘Edwin joined the navy and my father didn’t want us to get married too young. We were engaged but I was 18 when he went abroad for two-and-a-half years.’

The couple wrote regular letters to each other and when Edwin returned they tied the knot at St Cuthbert’s Church, in Copnor, on December 15, 1951.

‘That church had been bombed during the war and I remember that the heating wasn’t on and it was freezing,’ says Georgina.

‘We had a very homely wedding and our reception was in the Embassy ballrooms above the Co-op.’

Edwin spent 22 years as an electrician in the Royal Navy and travelled abroad a lot. Georgina stayed at home to bring up their children Lyndis and Martyn.

Now living in Portchester, the couple will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday with a family meal.

As well as their two children, they have three grandchildren and five great-granchildren.

‘We’ve been very happy,’ adds Georgina.

‘There’s been lots of things going on and we’ve got a good family on both sides. It’s been fun. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been 60 years.’