They met the day war broke out more than 75 years ago.

And now a couple who were together for more than seven decades will be cremated together in a joint funeral service.

Aquilla and Catherine Brant, aged 100 and 96, died within 12 days of each other either side of Christmas.

And their daughter Sue revealed they had a pact not to be separated.

“They always said they would go within a fortnight of each other, and Dad went 12 days after Mum.

“It’s what they wanted and it’s good to think they are together again”.

The inseparable couple, formerly of Lepton, had been living in a double room at Pilling House residential home in Skelmanthorpe.

The pair celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary only back in April and Aqullia, whose name is the Latin word for ‘eagle.’, said: “We just love each other.

“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 was a retired electrician and Catherine was a former nurse. They met in 1939, the night the Second World War started, when. Aquilla was in the St John’s Ambulance and was called in to train first-aiders at the former Mill Hill fever hospital in Dalton, where Catherine was a nurse.

“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 went on to have three children Carl, Susan and Hazel. They also leave two grandchildren John and Amanda and four great-grandchildren Tom, Sam, Alexandra and William.

 

Their daughter said: “We’d planned a big party for Dad’s 100th on December 16 but the home said Mum was too ill. We had hoped to have it there but she wasn’t fit enough.

“At 4am the following day, got a call to say she had died. She had pneumonia and it was very quick.

“It was just 24 hours later that I got another call to say Dad had been taken in to Barnsley General Hospital. It turned out he, too, had pneumonia and also had a heart attack.

“He stayed in the hospital and refused some of the treatment, and died peacefully on December 29 with family at his bedside.

“It has been a hell of a Christmas but at least we know they are together and that’s what they wanted”.

The funeral is at St John’s Church, Lepton, on January 8 at 12.15pm, followed by cremation.

The family are making donations to the Forget me Not Children’s Hospice.