Sidmouth couple celebrate 70 years of ‘a real and old-fashioned love’

Fredric and Cynthia Naylor celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary

Fredric and Cynthia Naylor celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth couple’s long-lasting marriage started with a serendipitous meeting, in a scenario straight out of a Hollywood romance.

Commander Fredric Naylor RNR and his wife Cynthia celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary – 70 years – today (Friday).

The couple met by chance at a ladies’ Christian Association meeting in Reading, back in 1939.

Cynthia was attending the event for the first time, while Fredric, went along as an honorary member.

During the evening he spotted his future wife sitting in front of him and kicked her chair.

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Fredric, 97, said: “I saw her at the back of the room and thought ‘what a pretty girl’.”

Their romance blossomed, even through separation, as Fredric was posted to India in 1940. The couple corresponded by love letter until they were reunited five years later.

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Cynthia, 91, sailed over to India and married Fredric on December 4, 1945.

The couple’s granddaughter Jane described their love as ‘a real and old-fashioned romance’.

Jane said: “Grandma said what she remembers most is that everyone was up early on ship getting ready for their arrival in Bombay, and that she saw Granddad was already there waiting for her/the ship to arrive.

“She remembers that Granddad was the first to run up and board the ship.

“They were so excited to see each other as it was nearly five years since they had last seen each other.”

The couple, who moved to Sidmouth 40 years ago, have four children, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Jane said: “Their romance has definitely instilled in me a real belief in real love and old-fashioned romance, something that many people have given up on in these modern days.

“Their romance is something you see in Hollywood films, so it’s nearly unbelievable that it is here and real.

“It shows you real love does not fade, it is not withered by distance, years apart, war even.

“Real love stands the distance and it is something to be admired and celebrated. It is certainly something I am proud of them for and would love to achieve.”

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