Newbury Park couple celebrate 70 years together

PUBLISHED: 18:00 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:07 30 December 2014

Joshua and Julie Swinburne celebrate their 70th anniversary

Joshua and Julie Swinburne celebrate their 70th anniversary


They survived London’s last V2 rocket attack and bombing onslaught by the Luftwaffe as young adults in the same block of flats.

An old picture of Joshua and Julie SwinburneAn old picture of Joshua and Julie Swinburne

So it was no great surprise that Joshua, 91, and Julie Swinburne, 88, had the strength to reach 70 years of matrimony this month at Parkview Court, in Brancaster Road, Newbury Park.

The pair became friends when living in Hughes Mansions in Whitechapel.

A block of flats which lost more than 130 residents in the last V2 attack of central London in March 1945. Julie’s mother, ‘Dolly’ Emden, was one of the victims.

Joshua’s family moved to Twickenham the next day, but he kept in touch with Julie.

The pair had also survived one of the last Luftwaffe raids on London in 1944 also when living in Whitechapel.

They got married the same year when Joshua – or Joe as he is also known – was on embarkation leave before he travelled to the Far East to serve in the Royal Artillery.

Joshua, now president of the Bet Tikvah Synagogue in Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, was three years older than his 18-year-old wife when they made their vows.

“We were just kids growing up together,” said Joshua, who later became an officer in the warrant officer class – the second highest non-comissioned rank. “There were a lot of teenagers in the block.”

“Leaving my wife to serve in the Far East for two and a half years was the toughest part of our marriage.”

Asked what the secret for a long marriage, Joshua said: “If I knew I would have made a fortune.

“Obviously we were just compatible as a couple.”

The Swinburnes celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary with 50 guests at Parkview Court, where Joshua rented the lounge area out for the afternoon.

Joshua said everybody enjoyed the “excellent” occasion which was also marked by a letter from the Queen.

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