British soldier Bob Humphries never received a reply to all the love letters he wrote to his childhood sweetheart while stationed in France during WW II. He just assumed she’d lost interest in him.
Ironically, his then girlfriend, Bernie Bluett, was thinking the same thing — that Humphries had lost interest in her. It turned out that those love letters had never reached her — hidden away by parents who disapproved of the match.
Seventy years later, the pair has reconnected and plans to get married this week in a small south England town.
Bluett was 14 when she met Humphries. He was 16.
“There was something between us,” she told New Zealand Women’s Weekly. “We went for a walk and I thought ‘This is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with,’ but we didn’t even kiss.”
But the world got in the way and Humphries went to war. Bluett was drafted as a triage nurse for the Royal Air Force at 18, and the couple managed to exchange a number of memorable letters before Bluett’s parents stopped forwarding them.
“He was a romantic. His letters were just incredible,” she said. “He’d made arrangements for us to get married and I didn’t know about it. I was furious that they could have interfered like that.”
After the war, Humphries married and had two children, and Bluett had three children of her own with a Kiwi bomber pilot.
Eventually both were widowed, and in 2011 the pair reconnected when Bluett’s daughter found that Humphries was living in England.
“When I answered the phone, all he wanted to know was what had happened to me. He asked me what he did wrong,” Bluett told Express.
“I didn’t say anything, I just burst into tears.”
Now, Bluett’s children have helped her move back to the UK and the couple will finally marry. Humphries is now 89 and Bluett is 87.
“When circumstances brought us closer together we finally got married after all these years.” Humphries told Metro. “It has been quite stressful but I am looking forward to it.”
“We have both had good marriages, good lives. But we always wondered what happened,” Bluett told Express.