MEMBERS of Jim and Doris Baynes’ family raised their glasses to the couple to celebrate their 70 years of married life.

Jim, 98, and Doris, 94, live in Knutsford, and celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary on June 11 with lunch at the Greyhound restaurant in Ashley.

The celebrations were attended by the couple’s son and daughter-in-law Steve and Sue Baynes, daughter and son-in-law Susan and Barry Cooper, grandsons Hugh, Paul and Simon Cooper, and friends Di and Mike Lloyd-Davies.

This was followed by ‘Open House’ at their home in Knutsford for cake and champagne with local friends and neighbours, including Barri and Ann Dodgson, Mary and John Gracie, Anna Jackson and those who were at the lunch.

Jim and Doris were married in St Cuthbert’s Church in Wood Green, London on June 11, 1949.

Jim worked in Standard Telephones and Cables and in their Territorial Army Signalling Unit. This was followed by war service and a career in the War Office, later the Ministry of Defence.

Knutsford Guardian:

Family members at the anniversary celebrations

During and immediately after the war Doris was secretary to a haulage contractor, and after time out raising a family worked as a hospital secretary and a school secretary until retirement.

The couple have two children, Susan, who lives in Timperley with husband Barry, and Stephen, who lives in Disley with wife Sue, and four grandchildren.

Susan said: “Jim was a signalman throughout the Second World War.

“Before the Dunkirk evacuation he was stationed near Béthune, and after receiving orders to evacuate suffered bombardment with his division around Lille.

Knutsford Guardian:

Jim wearing his Dunkirk Veterans' blazer, Signalman's beret and war medals, with Doris

“During the evacuation of Dunkirk he narrowly avoided reaching a ship which was shortly afterwards sunk by German bombardment, and escaped shooting for being in the wrong queue.

“He helped a French officer and another British soldier in paddling away in an unseaworthy small boat, and was eventually picked up by a Royal Navy launch and taken back to England crammed into the hold of a Dutch coal tanker.

“He later went on to serve in the 8th Army, 4th Indian Division, 11th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery in North Africa, notably El Alamein, and Italy, notably Monte Cassino, campaigns, enduring fierce fighting, repeatedly narrowly escaping death.”

Jim received the General Service Medal, Eighth Army Medal, Italy Star, Defence Medal, Victory Medal, Territorial Army Medal, and the Dunkirk Medal, awarded by the French.

Susan added: “Thanks to everyone who helped make the day so special, especially Isobel Taylor for making an absolutely show-stopping celebration cake, and to the Greyhound for providing us with such a lovely celebration lunch, with such warm service.”

Knutsford Guardian:

The couple on their wedding day