Irene West
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John Mills and Irene Glover during the First World War, Pengam, Wales, 1915

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Getting married

"My father was a Croydon man, that's where he was born. He was a train driver in those days, and that's how he ended up in Wales.

When my parents first met, my mum was already engaged to a postman, but her and my dad started going together. They wanted to get married and he put up the banns three times, and my grandmother took them down each time because she was against it.

In the end, they bought a new suit for my mother to get married to the postman, and on the day she got dressed up in all the gear and ran off with my father instead and they got married somewhere else in Wales! He had put the banns up in the other place too!

As they were getting married and going up the steps to the church, my mother heard a voice and she thought it was her mother! My dad had to drag her into the church.

She never went home to see her mother, not until after she'd had her first child and they'd been married about 18 months then. We used to say, that he had to go all the way to Wales to find a wife! I can remember my dad had a moustache when he was in the army and he threatened to shave it off. My mum said, I won't speak to you if you do. But he did shave if off and she didn't speak to him for a week!."

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