World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                        Amelia McGinn

Courtship And Marriage - Wartime Style.

By actiondesksheffield

People in story: Amelia McGinn
Location of story: Birmingham, England.
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Mrs. Amelia McGinn.

Topic of story: Courtship and Marriage – Wartime style

I was born in Annan in Scotland in 1917 and was still living there when WW2 broke out, then being aged 22. Many servicemen were based in the town in the early years of the war, preparatory to being sent abroad, and I was one of several young women who helped serve breakfasts to the troops through the WVS.

It was thus that I met Arthur, my husband-to-be, in about 1941. We could only meet occasionally and briefly and after a few weeks, he was moved south but we kept in touch and met up a few times in Birmingham at his parent’s home, when he had day leave.

In November 1942 he had a week or so’s embarkation leave prior to leaving for Italy, I think. I went down to Birmingham by train, expecting just to spend a few days with him, but after a few days, largely at his parents' suggestion, we decided to get married there and then.

Because of the suddenness of our decision and him having to go abroad, we had to get a special certificate. I had to help him buy our engagement ring with some of my own money.

My parents couldn’t get down from Scotland and Arthur’s sister was my Bridesmaid. We didn’t have a proper “Wedding Breakfast”, just a “Tea” upstairs in his parents’ house, and our “honeymoon” was spent downstairs. A few days after our marriage, he left for Italy and sometime in 1941, I got a telegram to say he was “missing”. It was about 6 months before I learnt that he was still alive.

He wasn’t demobbed until 1946, so it was 4 years since we’d last met – at our wedding! We then set up home in Sheffield and remained happily married for 50 years.