Couple’s love which survived Dunkirk still as strong 75-years on

June 29, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

A love-struck soldier who survived the hell of Dunkirk with a picture of his new bride in his pocket has just celebrated 75-years of marriage.

Picture shows Norman and Joyce Johnson who have been happily married for 75 years (Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk /SWNS)

                          Picture shows Norman and Joyce Johnson who have been happily married for 75 years                                                    (Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk /SWNS)  

Brave Norman Johnson swam through the waters to the safety of a boat with a snap of  sweetheart Joyce wrapped in a £100,000 Deutsche Mark for protection.

The devoted pair have now marked their diamond wedding anniversary – and Norman still has the photo complete with a salt stain from the sea and the banknote.

This is the picture that was carried by Norman at Dunkirk. Joyce had taken this picture at a studio to send to Norman when he was away at war (Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk / SWNS)

This is the picture that was carried by Norman at Dunkirk. Joyce had taken this picture at a studio to send to Norman     when he was away at war (Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk / SWNS)

The couple, from Sheffield, South Yorks., lived in the same area growing up and met in their early teenage years.

Joyce said: “I took a fancy to him. He was going to night school so I decided to go as well and do dressmaking.

“We used to walk home together and we got to go steady. He couldn’t escape me.”

Norman, 97, was conscripted into the army during the Second World War. He travelled to France and was safely evacuated from the beach at Dunkirk.

A hasty wedding was organised when Norman was given leave and was celebrated in a local pub.

Joyce recalled: “We got married when he was on 48-hour leave.

“We got married on Saturday dinnertime and he was gone by Sunday night. Our

wedding breakfast was cheese and onion sandwiches.

“And then we lived happily ever after.”

Norman said the secret to a long and happy marriage was ‘being easy going with each other’.

Norman Johnson, now 97 and wife Joyce, now 95, on 5 Feb 1946 (Ross Parry / SWNS)

Norman Johnson, now 97 and wife Joyce, now 95, on 5 Feb 1946 (Ross Parry / SWNS)

He said: “I can honestly say we’ve never fallen out. We’ve been very happy indeed.

“We’ve done very well really.”

After the war, Norman went to work for the English Steel Corporation and Joyce worked doing laundry. They had two children Sue and Carol.

Norman and Joyce Johnson who have been happily married for 75 years (Ross Parry / SWNS)

Norman and Joyce Johnson who have been happily married for 75 years (Ross Parry / SWNS)

Joyce said: “I had three sisters and we moved just down the road.

“So I was alright, it wasn’t far to go for gossip and babysitting.”

“We’ve had our troubles just like everybody else but we’ve been pretty happy.”

The couple have seven grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, who joined them to celebrate their big day with them.

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