Love and kindness for 70 happy married years

Seventy and counting: Jack and Helen Gilberd fell in love during the hectic days of World War II. Picture John Veage
Seventy and counting: Jack and Helen Gilberd fell in love during the hectic days of World War II. Picture John Veage

AN English war bride had spent only snatched days with her intended when she took the plunge and came to Australia.

The couple were married in Nottingham 70 years ago after meeting at a dance.

"He was the nicest man I'd ever met," Helen Gilberd said.

The couple's courtship was interrupted by Jack Gilberd's wartime duties which saw him serve in Gibraltar and Ireland with the RAAF.

Their get-togethers lasted only up to six days at a time and they met only about four times before tying the knot.

The bride's decision to cross the world for love was helped by her not having parents to leave behind.

"Jack's mother was also a wartime bride from World War I and she looked after me; she said she knew what it was like," Mrs Gilberd said.

Soon after arriving in Australia Mrs Gilberd was pregnant and Mr Gilberd found work as a lithographic printer.

Early in their marriage the couple lived near the Woronora River.

The secret of the longevity of their marriage was "love and being kind to one another," Mrs Gilberd said.

The couple have a daughter Janet Outlaw, son Peter Gilberd, five grandchildren, four foster grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

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