Stories

Perseverance


Harry | Aged 91
Greenwich | November 2015

Harry, was smitten with Kath and her beautiful eyes from the moment he saw her in a crowded London pub in the 1942. Their meeting was to change Harry’s life forever as he set out to woo Kath, something made rather tricky by her strict grandmother. Undeterred, Harry managed to fix a date at the local picture house one Saturday afternoon. Eager in his pursuit of Kath, Harry pretended to be a devoted Catholic and it was agreed they would attend Sunday Service together the very next day. Harry had told a lie, he hadn’t actually been to church since being baptised, and so, being an unfamiliar event to him, it was soon apparent to Kath that Harry was far from accustomed to the rituals of the Catholic Mass.

On discovery of the truth Kath wouldn’t allow Harry back into the church with her, so instead he became her chaperone each week, waiting outside between each of the three Sunday Services. Harry’s perseverance was eventually rewarded when Kath told her gran she’d “met a boy”, allowing their courtship to continue during his ensuing periods of leave from the Army. They married in 1944, in the same church outside which Harry had so often waited during weekly Sunday Service.

What followed was a very happy and long marriage of 67 years. Complete with memories of dancing and embracing, special presents and poems, their love story ended when Kath passed away 4 years ago, leaving Harry completely heartbroken. Surrounded by photographs of happier times, Harry can sometimes laugh at the things they said and did together but, more often than not, he finds himself in tears and full of heartache. He describes this pain as a dagger in his heart and says he is not afraid of dying, in fact, he is looking forward to it, in the hope he will meet Kath again. There is one particular photograph of Kath which Harry keeps close to his favourite chair, the lower half is torn and missing but he keeps because he loves to see her those big green eyes he first fell for in war time London.

To see Harry’s torn photograph of Kath, and hear their love story told in his own words watch the video below: