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Distance failed to deter diamond Stowmarket couple Mike and Pam Soames

A Stowmarket couple celebrating their diamond wedding didn’t let distance separate them and thanks to the Army had a wedding to remember.

After completing national service Mike Soames decided to re-enlist and found himself posted 6,700 miles away in Singapore ... with no leave.

By this time he and Pam had been courting for six months.

Pamela and Michael Soames, of Stowmarket, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: Mecha Morton
Pamela and Michael Soames, of Stowmarket, are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. Picture: Mecha Morton

Mike said: “I had said I’d like the UK or Germany, but they sent me to Singapore and there was no leave.

“We used to write to each other by airmail but that used to take about 10 days. I missed her and so asked if she’d like to get engaged, and she said yes.”

Both mums bought the engagement ring and, when Mike asked if he could get his fiancée to Singapore for their wedding, the Army stepped in and flew Pam there – while Mike’s boss and his wife offered to arrange the wedding.

Pam, meanwhile, became stranded in Istanbul after the plane she was travelling in suffered engine failure and the wedding had to be postponed.

She said: “It was quite frightening. I’d never been on a plane before. I had fallen asleep and when I woke up one engine had packed up and then another began spluttering.”

The couple from Winchester Close finally married at St George’s Church in Tanglin on October 3 and are celebrating 60 happy years. They have two sons, Alan and Michael, a daughter Janet, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, with another on the way.

Mike served 25 years in the Army in the RASC, later the Royal Corps of Transport, and in that time won medals representing the Army and Great Britain in six-day motorcycling trials, taking gold in 1968.

After Army service, in 1981 Mike ran a small transport company for 14 years. He still enjoys the thrills of two wheels at the age of 84, swapping off-road bikes for a Suzuki Burgman scooter.

They have been members of Bury St Edmunds MG Owners Club and Pam, 82, was a member of Bury’s Embroiderers’ Guild.

Said Mike: “I’ve had a lovely life and never could have done so without Pam.

“We went through some hard times when you’re rushing about like I was, but Pam took over the family side of things.”

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