A 20-year-old sailor and a 19-year-old secretary had a chance meeting at a college ball during wartime – and courted for just nine months before tying the knot.
Their whirlwind romance has more than stood the test of time and they have just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
Peter and Mitch Griggs first set eyes on each other at an art college ball on January 12 1945, despite neither of them attending the college themselves, and are now still happily married, living on the outskirts of Dundee in Invergowrie.
Mitch, 94, who was a secretary at Valentines at the time, had been invited as a plus-one by a friend’s brother who didn’t have a date.
Peter, now 95, who is originally from Lincoln, was a sailor in the Navy and his ship was docked in the city for repairs.
The college invited the sailors to join in the celebrations at a Lindsay Street venue and six of the young men took up the offer.
Mitch caught Peter’s eye and from then on they were an item.
Mitch said: “I had been invited as my friend’s brother and his pal didn’t have girlfriends so we went along as their dates for the night.
“Six sailors came to the ball as they were stationed in Dundee while their ship was repaired.
“This nice looking sailor was one of them.
“I can even remember the exact date – it was January 12 and by May we were engaged.
“It wasn’t like nowadays and we probably didn’t get to know each other as much as people do now.
“It was wartime and with Peter being in the Navy we didn’t get to spend as much time together as we would have liked but we knew we wanted to get married and he had a week off in September.
“That week turned out to only be three days but we were determined we would get married.
“My sister-in-law arranged the whole thing down in Lincoln and we were married at St Peter and St Margaret’s Church on September 8 1945.
“People said we were too young and that it wouldn’t last, as I was only 19 and Peter was 20 at the time.
“But I like to think we have proved them wrong now.”
Peter went on to become a police officer in Dundee until his retirement, rising to the rank of sergeant and receiving the British Empire Medal from the Queen in 1977 while Mitch continued her secretarial work.
The couple, who live in Invergowrie, have two daughters Dianne and Hilary, as well as four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
When asked about their secret to having 75 happy years of marriage, Mitch said having a laugh and learning to love each other’s flaws were key factors.
She said: “I definitely think you have to have a sense of humour and you also have to learn a lot about give and take.
“You really need to take time to learn everything about them and also find out what all their little faults are.
“You also learn to love those flaws and I think we have done that a lot, especially as we have got older.
“I think you also need to keep that spark alive. We will still have a cuddle in the morning and a kiss when we go past each other and I think that is really important.
“You learn to love each other more and more each day, certainly in our case anyway.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the couple were unable to have any lavish parties and instead decided to celebrate their anniversary with a quiet day in the house.
Mitch added: “After 75 years of celebrations I think we have decided we are done with being the party hosts.”