Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 49

THE ISLAND AT WAR 1939 - 1945 church hall afterwards. The celebrations for another wartime wedding were very different. Tony Key told me that his aunt, Patricia Olive Key met Petty Officer Ronald Calverley through her brother, Ivor Weston Key, when he brought his best friend home to Ryde at Christmas. Ronald became a friend of the family and before long he and Patricia were engaged to get married in July 1941. But a few days before the wedding, among the congratulatory telegrams delivered to the bride’s home was a buff coloured telegram stamped O.H.M.S. – known during the war as “the dreaded telegram” – and when Patricia’s mother opened the envelope she learned that Ivor was missing, presumed drowned after his life ship was torpedoed by the Italians in the Mediterranean. The family decided the wedding should go ahead but it was to be a quiet affair. Among the popular songs was Dame Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again” with the refrain, “Keep smiling through”, though perhaps it seemed the war would never end. But Nig V