Ex-Mayor of Hemel Hempstead, 96, pens poignant poem to ‘wonderful’ wife

Les (centre) and Una (pink) with family and friends

Les (centre) and Una (pink) with family and friends

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A former town mayor has written a heartfelt poem to his ‘wonderful’ wife as they celebrate 70 years of marital bliss.

Les Taber, 96, met Una, 92, shortly before the Second World War and after five years of love letters from the battlefield, they married in 1946.

A photo from their wedding day in 1946

A photo from their wedding day in 1946

Seventy years on, they are still going strong, living in Newfield Lane, Hemel Hempstead.

Les has lost his sight in recent months but to keep his mind active, he has turned to poetry. He wrote ‘Thank You Darling’ to mark the platinum anniversary, which they celebrated with family and friends.

“We’ve been married seventy years,” it read. “With lots of joy and a few tears.

“We met when Una was just fifteen, but soon the war came in between. Our budding romance was halted at that time, as I went to serve in foreign clime.

“For five long years we courted by letter, knowing one day life would be better. Then in 1945 we were reunited, and in our hearts we were delighted.

“Never to be separated again, despite the storms of life, wind and rain. In 1946 we became man and wife, and began our road to married life.

“Our beginnings were not easy, the pole of life was often greasy. Then we started a family, that through the years grew to three.

“Having left my parent’s home for one of our own, in Hemel Hempstead, Steve, Ann and Clive have grown. Of whom we are immensely proud, because they stand out above the crowd.

“And grandchildren who now have their own – My! How the family has grown. Seventy years of loyalty and love, marriage has suited us like a glove.

“All due to a wonderful wife, whom I have loved all my life.”

They have lived in the town for 65 years and Les, who worked at John Dickenson’s and later Lucas, became mayor in 1995. The couple are popular members of the Coffee Mates Club at Adeyfield Community Centre where Les writes poems and entertains with his wry sense of humour. Una plays bowls at the centre.

They have 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.