St Leonards residents Stanley and Elizabeth Kentell have celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary after a chance meeting in a Kent street bought them together nearly 70 years ago.
Stanley Charles Kentell, who recently turned 90, was born in Bromley, Kent.
In 1940, aged 14 Stanley was set to be evacuated to Canada on the ill-fated Dutch steam passenger ship the SS Volendam.
The ship had been assigned to the child evacuation programme and on August 31, 1946, whilst carrying 879 people (273 crew members, 320 children - including Stanley - with their leaders and 286 other passengers) it was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat around 200 miles off the Irish coast. Stan was rescued and returned to the UK. There was one fatality out of the hundreds on board.
Four years later Stan joined the British Army and served in Egypt, Europe and Palestine 1944 -1947.
Elizabeth Anne Ades was born in 1932 and grew up on Court Farm Wittersham, Kent. She entered the Nursing Service in 1969 where she stayed until she retired in 1991.
Stanley and Elizabeth met in Bromley High Street in 1949 while out walking and started dating. They married on December 6, 1951 and set up home in Ham Green Wittersham. In 1998 they moved to St Leonards on Sea.
Their family now boasts 3 Children, 5 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grandchildren.
Stanley and Elizabeth say the secret of staying the course over a lifetime is simple: “Sharing the same interests, shared family values, being sympathetic to each others needs and, of course, love for each other.”