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Royal message for diamond couple

PUBLISHED: 10:08 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:43 08 July 2010

IT was love at first sight for Ken and Eileen Gunnell, and now more than 60 years later they are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

IT was love at first sight for Ken and Eileen Gunnell, and now more than 60 years later they are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

And to help them celebrate the Gunnells received a message of congratulations from Buckingham Palace.

The Watton couple, who married on April 8, 1950 at St Faiths Church, in Brentford, first met about 65 years ago during the second world war when they were working in a munitions factory in Brentford, Middlesex.

Mrs Gunnell, who was about 18 at the time, said: “I fell head over heels and that was it. I did not look at another man at all. He was my first boyfriend and I have been absolutely head over heels ever since.”

Mr Gunnell said: “I thought Eileen was the one for me when I met her. I can hardly believe we have been married for 60 years.”

Both of them spent some time in the army. Mrs Gunnell, 84, spent three years with the ATS after joining up in 1945.

Mr Gunnell, 83, joined the Royal Army Medical Corps a few weeks later and stayed in the army for just over 22 years reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 and serving in places including Singapore and Northern Ireland.

When he left the army he worked as an education welfare officer.

Mr Gunnell is originally from Hounslow and Mrs Gunnell is originally from Ealing. Throughout their married life they have lived in places all over the country including Sussex, Hampshire and Middlesex.

They moved to Brandon in 1999 and then to Watton in 2001.

They have two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, and four grandchildren.

The Gunnells said some of their happiest memories over their years together were the births of their daughters.

When asked the secret to 60 years of happy marriage, Mrs Gunnell said: “Give and take is the key to success, and we have no secrets from each other.”

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