A YOUNG Royal Engineer in London fell ill in the autumn of 1943 and when he failed to respond to treatment he was sent to hospital in his native Herefordshire.

In Hereford County Hospital, Stan Walters was cared for by a young nurse called Violet, from Ross-on-Wye.

The couple, who have just celebrated 60 years of marriage that has brought them four children, still wonder at fate that brought them together all those years ago.

"It turned out that I was suffering from yellow jaundice. I have no idea how I got it but I am glad that I did," said Stan, now aged 81.

Stan and Violet, 79, were married on what they still remember as 'a glorious summer's day'.

After the end of the war, Stan was a farm worker before joining a firm of agricultural engineers where he was employed for 34 years.

Violet continued to nurse for several years after they were married, include a spell at the former "fever hospital" in Birmingham.

They now live in Peterchruch and continue to be active. Stan is a keen gardener and Violet keeps busy in her spare time with arts and crafts.

"Fate is a strange thing. Had I not been taken ill we would probably have never met and our lives would have been very different. We have been lucky in many ways," said Stan.