A couple who met the day war broke out have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

Aquilla and Catherine Brant are now aged 99 and 95 – but their love for each other remains as strong as ever.

The inseparable couple, formerly of Lepton, now live in a double room at Pilling House residential home in Skelmanthorpe.

“We just love each other,” said Aquilla, whose name is the Latin word for ‘eagle’.

“Of course we’ve had our ups and downs like everybody else and someone once asked me how we’d stayed together so long. I told them it was two little words. Yes, dear!”

Aquilla, a retired electrician who will be 100 on December 16, said the couple rarely had a cross word and if they did they always sorted it out.

“We try to argue things out and agree about it at the end,” he said. “We’ve never come to any blows!

“We have always lived harmoniously and Catherine is very understanding and loves everybody, even her enemies!”

Watch the couple talk about their years together in the video below.

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Former nurse Catherine, 96 next month, agreed. “You shouldn’t hate anybody. You should pray for your enemies, and it’s surprising how they will react when you do that.

“I love people and Aquilla doesn’t love people as much. He’ll say: ‘Oh, is she coming again?’”

The couple met in 1939 the night the Second World War started. Aquilla was in the St John’s Ambulance and first aiders were called to train others in life-saving skills.

Aquilla and Catherine Brant's wedding day
Aquilla and Catherine Brant's wedding day
 

Aquilla trained a group of 12 men in a ward at the former Mill Hill fever hospital in Dalton, where Catherine was a nurse.

Aquilla needed some tea and sugar and was told to find Catherine and the rest is history.

“Yes, it was love at first sight,” said Aquilla. “She was beautiful and still is.”

The couple married on April 8 1942 at Almondbury Church and had a party afterwards in Whiteleys Cafe in Huddersfield before spending a few days on honeymoon in Ilkley.

The romantics have been back to Ilkley since trying to re-trace their steps but were disappointed not to find where they stayed.

“We saw lambs being born and Aquilla leaned back and broke a chair but we never told anybody,” smiled Catherine.

The couple went on to have three children Carl, Susan and Hazel, two grandchildren John and Amanda and four great-grandchildren Tom, Sam, Alexandra and William.

This is not the first time Aquilla has appeared in the Examiner.

During a blackout he and a pal, Donald Dove, were caught riding their bikes without lights. They were fined five shillings each and a court report in the paper was headlined: “The eagle and the dove share the same fate.”

Surrounded by his wooden carvings in their room Catherine said Aquilla could mend anything. “There was nothing he couldn’t do,” she said. “He must have saved us so much money over the years.

“If a pan handle broke I would look forward to getting something new but he would get his soldering iron out and he would repair it,” said Catherine.

“He has even made his own false teeth but that’s another story. I’ll tell you that when he’s 100!”

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