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A husband and wife are celebrating both reaching their 100th birthdays and have revealed the secret of their 75-year-long marriage – a row every day.
Josephine and Alfred Waterfield met in a pub when Josephine was working on a 16th Century county house as a Land Girl the year before World War Two broke out.
The Women’s Land Army (known as Land Girls) were used as a rural workforce to boost Britain’s food production during the conflict.
Alfred, who served as a Marine at the time, said his secret to a long marriage – and becoming a centenarian – is a daily argument.
He married Josephine in 1947, meaning their marriage is older than 121 countries of the world and predates the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Their son Allen, 74, told Daily Express: “They’d say the secret to a happy marriage and reaching 100 is to have a row every day. They are like that, nothing serious, just a bicker.
“It’s rare nowadays to see marriages last so long so they got something right, and it’s lovely. There’s some hope for us all.
“My dad also likes whisky, it’s his drink. He actually has a whisky chaser and a beer every day with his lunch and says that does him good. They both have a Baileys every night before they go to bed.” They’d say the secret to a happy marriage and reaching 100 is to have a row every day. They are like that, nothing serious, just a bicker
Allen Waterfield, Alfred and Josephine’s son
The couple, who have four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, married on April 5, 1947 – seven months before Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip tied the knot.
They were devastated when the monarch died last month aged 96.
Allen, a retired sales manager, continued: “They are definitely royalists so they were both upset when the Queen died.
“She was a constant for most of their lives. They’ve more or less known nothing else – the Queen has been Queen, so it was upsetting for them.
“We had sent off to get a letter from the Queen for mum just before the Queen died and we’ve since been told she just missed the cut-off for one from her.
“There were some people who turned 100 in the days after the Queen’s death who still got a letter but October 4 was too late.
“We are waiting for anything from King Charles at the moment.” Josephine, who was a housewife after the war, turned 100 on October 4.
Former steelworker Alfred reached the milestone on November 19 last year but the family held a celebration on September 30 at the care home in which the couple both live.
Their other son Brian visited from Perth, Australia, for the bash at Barchester Elm Bank Care Home in Kettering, Northants.
Staff there made the couple a special birthday cake.
Allen, who lives in Sywell, Northants, continued: “We always wanted a nice celebration for them and found a time suitable for everyone really, with Brian and his family coming over from Australia and people arranging time off work.
“It was a fantastic time. Mum and Dad both loved it.
“May we take this opportunity as a family to send our heartfelt thank you for organising such a wonderful birthday tribute.
“They went above and beyond what we expected. Mum and Dad thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon spent with family and friends.”Josephine and Alfred moved to the nursing home earlier this year, having enjoyed a vibrant social life for decades in Corby, Northants. where they lived.
They were regulars at their nearest pub The Jug and Bottle in Corby, where Josephine would often play the piano and organ to entertain the locals.
Jessica Pateman, general manager of Barchester Elm Bank Care Home added: “We’re delighted to be celebrating a truly remarkable Husband and Wife as they both reach this amazing milestone.
“Alf and Jo are wonderful residents who always have an interesting tale to tell, and we look forward to hearing many more as they break into their next century.”
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