A Bexhill couple celebrated 60 years of married life with a lunch at Bannatyne Hotel in Hastings, attended by four generations of their family.
Edith and Ken Ellis marked the milestone occasion on Saturday, December 15 – five days prior to their anniversary – alongside family from Germany and Gloucestershire, and many close friends.
The pair met in Hanover, Germany. Following an apprenticeship from 1953 until 1956 at The Army Apprentices School Chepstow, Ken was transferred to the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers and posted to Hanover. There he met Edith, who came from Misburg – a small village near to Hanover.
They married at the church of St John Misburg on December 20, 1958, following a civil ceremony – this being the German custom.
Their only child, Michael, was born at the British Military Hospital in Hanover in 1959.
The family then travelled the world together with the Forces, stationed in Kenya, Malaya and Hong Kong.
Ken served with such famous regiments as The Highland Light Infantry, 14/20th King’s Hussars, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, The Brigade of Gurkhas and The Duke of Wellington’s Light Infantry.
During the time spent with the Gurkhas, Edith was presented with a polished kukri – the characteristic weapon of the Gurkha – by the depot armourer. This was later used to cut the first slice of the anniversary cake following lunch.
Ken left the Forces in 1970 to allow Michael to return to the UK to attend senior education.
Edith and Ken took up employment in the public house/restaurant sector, followed by service within the petrol retail industry.
After retirement, the couple moved in 2002 to live in Cyprus, returning to the UK in 2006 and settling in Bexhill Old Town.
Living near to St Peter’s Church, this became their place of worship. There, Ken has served as Verger, Sexton and Eucharistic Minister, Edith also taking on the role of Eucharistic Minister – these appointments giving both great satisfaction.
The family has grown over the 60 years, and now consists of son Michael and daughter-in-law Janis, who is Sussex born and bred.
They also have grandchildren Jonathan, Matthew (his wife Rachel), Lindsay (her husband Ashley) and Stefanie.
The anniversary couple are also blessed with great-grandchildren Thomas, Amalie, William and Edie.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Father David, the Rector of St Peter’s Church, has kindly agreed to bless the Holy Matrimony of Edith and Ken in what will be a fitting end to a memorable and special occasion.