St Ives couple celebrate turning 100 within a week of each other

Cyril and Iris Curnow have been married for 77 years. Credit: BPM Media

A couple from St Ives who have been married for nearly 77 years have just celebrated turning 100 within a week of each other.

Cyril and Iris Curnow, from Carbis Bay, both grew up in the area and have known each other since they were teenagers.

Having become friends in the early 40s, the pair were separated during World War II when they went off to serve the country.

Cyril, then 17, joined the Royal Navy where he served on the same flotilla as Lord Louis Mountbatten and the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

During the war, Cyril was involved in the Malta convoys, African landings, and on day one of the D-Day Landings.

Iris joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) at age 18 and was stationed at Salisbury as a telephonist.

After the war, they reunited and were married at Bedford Road Chapel in St Ives.

Cyril and Iris married nearly 77 years ago. Credit: BPM Media

Having just celebrated their centennials at the Royal British Legion in St Ives, where Cyril is the longest-living member, Cyril recalls how he saved the end of his war money to present Iris with an engagement ring.

Cyril says the secret to a long life and happy marriage for him is to "be very tolerant" while Iris said: "It is give and take and never let the sun go down on any bad feeling."

Hilary Renowden, their daughter, said: “Mum and dad always give and think of others before themselves.

“They have had wonderful friendships over the years and have always been thankful for the love and blessings of their family.”

Following the war, Cyril worked as a mason in St Ives and then worked at Unigate in charge of maintenance until he retired. Iris ran a guest house for many years at their home first in Victoria Place and later in Bedford Road.

Iris pictured as a young woman and Cyril in his Royal Navy uniform. Credit: BPM Media

Cyril is also a member of the Royal Navy Association St Ives. Iris was a founding member of the Young Wives Group in Fore Street, St Ives. Together, they were both founder members of the St Eia Dance Club where they used to enjoy dancing with their many friends.

Over the years they have enjoyed travelling to many countries, including visiting family in the USA. The couple moved to Carbis Bay after retirement.

They now like to spend time with their family – daughter Hilary and son-in-law Roger, grandchildren Wendy and Nicholas and their partners, plus three great-granddaughters Mia, Eva and Ellie.

The couple asked for donations for Little Harbour Children’s Hospice instead of gifts at their birthday celebrations and raised £725.