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Happy couple met on the set of war movie
6:00am Tuesday 21st January 2014 in News
MOVIE magic led to 64 years of marriage for Ilse and Kenneth James.
The couple – celebrating their anniversary today – met on the set of war film They Were Not Divided in Celle, West Germany, in 1949.
Mrs James, nee Thiel, was a translator and Mr James a soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals, organising transport.
They were drafted in as extras to dance the Jitterbug in one scene and rubbed shoulders with stars Sir Christopher Lee and Bernard Bresslaw.
Mrs James said: “We went for coffee and some cake and I remember him sitting in his uniform.”
She moved to Battle, East Sussex, to work as an au pair for Desmond Llewelyn, later Q in the James Bond films.
They met by chance when Mr James was on leave there and they kept in touch when he was posted back to Germany.
Mrs James said: “He only had a few days off for leave and so we wrote each other letters about the things we were doing.
“And it was around that time when Ken wrote to me and suggested that we should get married.”
For the first few years of their marriage they swapped between both countries, depending on where Mr James was posted.
They moved to Oxford and Mr James worked at Morris Motors in Cowley. He retired in 1987 and the couple – who had a daughter, Susan – now live in Brookfield Christian Care Home in Greater Leys.
They will today celebrate their anniversary with friends at the home with entertainment from visiting guitarist John Hobbs.
Asked for the secret of a happy marriage, Mrs James said: “It is being friends and giving and taking. That is the most important thing.”
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