Jim and Sadie to celebrate 65 years

Jim and Sadie Allen are about to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. Picture: contributed
Jim and Sadie Allen are about to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. Picture: contributed
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A war veteran – who now offers tours of the Royal Mile – and his wife are looking forward to celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

Originally from Motherwell, Jim Allen, 89, and Sadie, 87, moved to Edinburgh in 1966 to take up appointments with the Church of Scotland headquarters in George Street.

Since then, both have been prominent in church circles.

The pair married on June 11, 1948 in St Mary’s Church in Motherwell before moving to Stonehaven, near Aberdeen.

They have long histories with Backhall Bowling Club, and offer their services to many voluntary organisations.

Both still participate in Scottish country dancing, swimming and occasionally manage a few holes of golf, while Sadie is a keen member of an aerobics class.

Jim is a proud associate of the Edinburgh Voluntary Guides, and spends much of his time conducting tours of the Royal Mile.

He claims this pride in Edinburgh comes from his maternal roots in Leith communities with the family name Halcrow.

Jim is a war veteran who served in the Scots Guards and later as a Captain in the Seaforth Highlanders.

He served with the 51st Highland Division throughout the 1944-45 Normandy campaign and was severely wounded in the heavy fighting in Germany.

He returned to service in the British Army of the Rhine until demobilisation in 1946.

He made a return visit to Normandy on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, also visiting various battle sites including Ardennes and Arnhem.

Each Armistice Day he leads the Service of Remembrance at Comely Bank Church and attends the Garden of Remembrance in Princes Street Gardens.

The Allens have travelled widely around Europe and both Australia and New Zealand, with their Comely Bank home providing hospitality to several generations of Anzacs.

For more than 25 years, Jim has made Anzac Day visits to Comely Bank cemetery where there are war headstones to many Australians and New Zealanders buried there.

Their son Douglas is a history graduate of Edinburgh University and currently a lecturer at Motherwell College.

His family research studies have revealed forebears serving in the British military back to Waterloo, the Zulu War, Boer War and both world wars.

The couple, who have one step-grandchild and two great step-grandchildren, plan to celebrate with a trip to Crieff Hydro with friends.

Asked the secret of a happy and long marriage, Sadie said: “Love is the secret, and patience.

“We have been lucky with our health too and that helps.

“When you get older you know each other’s little foibles.”