Ken and Olive still smiling after 70 years of marriage

14:56 04 September 2014

Ken and Olive White at home in Exmouth celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Ref exe 4631-36-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Ken and Olive White at home in Exmouth celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. Ref exe 4631-36-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife


A former Exmouth police chief and his wife are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Ken and Olive White, of Parkside Drive, reached the milestone, known as a platinum anniversary, on Tuesday, September 2.

The couple, both aged 92, met in Torquay in July 1939, after Ken had returned from India, where he spent much of his childhood due to his father’s army career.

After leaving school, Ken joined the police, but was soon conscripted into the Devonshire Regiment during World War Two, reaching the rank of lieutenant, while Olive joined the ATS.

While on leave from their wartime duties, they married at Upton Church, Torquay, on September 2, 1944. They then had their first son, Geoffrey, in 1945.

After the war, Ken resumed his policing career, which took him all over the South West with his young family, joined by daughter Susan and youngest son Graham.

Having risen through the ranks, Ken came to Exmouth in 1968 as chief superintendent for East Devon, a role he held until retirement. Away from work, Ken was a keen sportsman, including as a member of East Devon Golf Club and Madeira Bowls Club.

Along the way, Ken and Olive suffered the tragic loss of Susan, but now take most joy in their two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. They were due to mark the anniversary with Graham and their daughter-in-law Pat, before a whole family celebration this weekend.

When asked for their secret, Ken said: “First of all, forgive and forget. Never tend to carry on arguments, and certainly do not sleep on them. Have respect for one another, and be understanding of each other’s problems.”


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