Eventful Christmas Eve leads to 80 years of marriage

Tom and Una celebrate their Eightieth Wedding Anniversary on April 17.

On April 17, 102-year-old Tom Wood and his 101-year-old wife, Una, celebrated an impressive 80 years of marriage.

Una and Tom met on a fateful Christmas Eve in December 1941.

Una was from England, but when she joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the beginning of the war, she was stationed in Scotland where Tom was living.

World War II had been raging for two years and the United Kingdom was desperate to conscript as Hitler’s army marched across Europe, but this was not to dissuade Tom and Una from more romantic pursuits.

Una remembers that a girlfriend of hers and one of Tom’s friends set the pair up on a double date.

“There was a major blackout in the town, which made for an interesting first date, and I knew I wasn’t going to let this one go!” Una said.

And she never did.

“Because of the nature of war, it wasn’t long before we married… You held onto your loved ones a bit closer back then, because you never knew what was going to happen next,” she said.

“The wedding was held in my village and despite it being a rush, it was the biggest wedding we ever had at the time!” Una said.

After enjoying a short honeymoon in London, Tom returned to the war and Una would soon find she was pregnant with her first child, a son whom the couple called Andrew.

The newlyweds would then spend two years apart – Tom serving his duties in the RAF and Una staying home to raise Andrew.

When the war ended in 1946, Tom came home for good and he and Una welcomed their second son, Ian.

In their 80 years of married life, the couple have had many adventures together.

“I went back to work for a while myself, as a secretary in an accounting hall — I was very good at that, and enjoyed the independence,” Una said.

Tom and Una enjoyed many years living abroad in England, Germany, and Romania, among other places, before settling down in Fullarton, South Australia, where they happily resided for 42 years.

“We loved that home and were blessed to have stayed for as long as we did,” Una said.

In July 2022, Tom and Una sold their Fullarton home, and relocated near the seaside at Resthaven Port Elliot.

“It’s beautiful here and relaxing. Not a bad place to end up, really!” Una said.

When asked how Una feels about Tom, she smirks.

“He’s alright – I’ll keep him!”

When reflecting on their lives together, Tom said Una has been a faithful life partner.

“Una has been a solid wife, we haven’t had many grievances at all – it just works,” he said.