Couple celebrate platinum anniversary with family and live music

PUBLISHED: 15:46 02 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:46 02 September 2016

Front row: Penny Morton, Jackie Dedman, Roland and Joyce Dedman; back row is Harvey, Ehren and Ivo Amps, Jan Allen, Vicky and Joel Amps, Terry and Jane Bedford, Dave Allen, Kevin Dedman, Jenny and John Amps, Alex, William, Holly and Clair Dedman.

Front row: Penny Morton, Jackie Dedman, Roland and Joyce Dedman; back row is Harvey, Ehren and Ivo Amps, Jan Allen, Vicky and Joel Amps, Terry and Jane Bedford, Dave Allen, Kevin Dedman, Jenny and John Amps, Alex, William, Holly and Clair Dedman.

Archant

Roland and Joyce Dedman celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary at The Hermitage Care Home in Whittlesey on Wednesday.

Roland and Joyce Dedman celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary at The Hermitage Care Home in Whittlesey on Wednesday.

The couple met 70 years ago when Joyce, a 17-year-old cashier at Regent Cinema, March, met 19-year-old railwaymen, Roland.

The couple has four grandchildren; Joel, Julie, Kevin and Claire, and nine great-grandchildren; Harvey, Ehren, Ivo, Holly, William, Alex, Marley, Jack and Oscar.

Joyce is also the daughter of World War Two hero Ben Gimbert, who saved Soham from destruction in 1944.

The March woman – who celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary last week – will never forget waking one day in 1944 to find out her father, Ben Gimbert, had overnight become a hero. He later received the George Cross.

“I can remember being told what happened and visiting my father in Newmarket Military Hospital,” says Joyce, who is now 89-years-old.

A few days before D-Day, a train consisting of 50 wagons of high explosives and detonators was destined for a US Air Force base in Essex.

Before they reached Soham her father, a rail driver, noticed that the first wagon behind the engine was on fire.

After bringing the train to a halt his fireman, James Nightall, climbed down from the engine and unhooked the wagon from the remainder of the train.

They then slowly pulled the blazing wagon away from the train in an attempt to get through Soham rail station into open countryside.

As they passed through the station, the wagon exploded, killing Mr Nightall and Soham station signalman, Frank Bridges.

Joyce’s father, Ben Gimbert, was the only survivor.

At Wednesday’s celebration, residents were entertained by performers Something Else from Baldock in the afternoon.

The live music was followed by a celebration for the couple which was attended by family members.

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