Tag: St Mary’s Church Attleborough

Joe’s wedding day featured in Wedding Exhibition in Attleborough

I was delighted and honoured when Attleborough Heritage Group asked me to provide photographs and text for its exhibition on 28th October showcasing nuptial memorabilia and gowns from weddings held in St Mary’s Church Attleborough during the past seven decades.  These were displayed in St Mary’s while  the church hall hosted a Wedding Fair.  During the evening there was an illustrated talk from the archive and records of AHG with a buffet supper.  Many thanks to them for including Joe and Jean’s story.  Here is the poster they produced along with the appropriate extract from Escaping Hitler.

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Anniversary of a very special Wedding

On 21st May 1946 Joe Stirling married his sweetheart Jean Skitmore in St Mary’s Church, Attleborough.  They were both in Army uniform.  Only three years earlier the groom’s birth name of Günter Stern had been officially changed by the British Army to Günter Stirling. The young soldiers in the barracks dubbed him Joe and the Jewish Kindertransport boy from the Rhineland village of Nickenich has been called that to this day.

In Church that day in 1946,  Joe was sadly the only representative of the groom’s side but Jean’s family turned out in force from the Norfolk villages and towns around Attleborough.  Today it is 70 years since that momentous occasion, a union that would produce four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren (more on the way!). The couple were happily married for nearly sixty years, but sadly Jean passed away after a long illness in 2002. Joe misses her every day.  Today I am thinking of them.

Joe and Jean on wedding day