Part of Your Community

Local News

War time romance goes platinum

Julia Davenport-Brown

Bookmark & Share

Jean Crockart Douglas Crockart Marple

Jean and Douglas Crockart are two of the loveliest people you could ever meet and the tale of how this Marple couple came together is a heart-warming romance.

During World War Two, when Jean was a teenager living in Manchester , her father encouraged her to send a photo to a boy the family were friendly with, who was fighting in the liberation of Europe.

‘I wasn’t keen’ says Jean ‘The boy was just a family friend and he certainly wasn’t my type, but Dad said it would help keep his spirits up. I had a lovely portrait photograph taken at a professional studio and reluctantly sent it off to please my Dad.’

Jean’s kind heartedness paid off in ways she couldn’t have imagined. The boy proudly showed off the photo to his fellow soldiers, one of whom was Douglas who was smitten with what he saw.

‘She was gorgeous’ says Douglas. So despite being naturally shy and reserved he plucked up courage and asked if he could write to her.  ‘I was just a teenager from Dundee and the battlefields of northern Europe were a long way from home. It was lovely to have a girl to write to and letters to look forward to.’

Back in Manchester Jean liked what she saw. ‘Douglas had sent a photo. He was very handsome with lovely curly red hair and looked really smart in his uniform.’

 ‘He wrote funny letters that made me laugh with little drawings at the side. We really got to know each other through those letters.’

So when Douglas suggested meeting Jean on his next leave, she jumped at the chance. 

‘I was keen to meet him in person. Leave was very precious for soldiers and their families, so it was great that he wanted to spend 7 of his 21 days with me. We had a wonderful week in Manchester, going to the pictures, dances, larking about and just laughing. We simply made each other happy. After his visit our love started to blossom through our letters.’

The feeling was mutual and on his next leave Douglas popped the question! Jean had no hesitation in saying yes. So, after having spent only 21 days in one another’s company Jean and Douglas took the plunge and married at St Thomas’ Church, Ardwick Green in November 1947.

‘Friends and family helped with clothing coupons and I was able to get a lovely long white satin dress and white velvet headdress with veil. Douglas looked magnificent in his kilt. We had our wedding reception at the Apollo, Ardwick Green.’

Seventy years later Jean and Douglas can look back their long and happy life together. Like all couples they have had their share of joy and sadness, but as Douglas says 

‘We married for life, we’ve looked after each other and most importantly we still laugh together.’

They recently featured on the Valentine Special on the BBC1 One Show and now the nation knows about their wartime romance too.

Jean and Douglas moved to Marple to bring up their three children Heather, Susan and Ian and now live at Rectory Court. They are proud grandparents of seven and great grandparents of ten.