Bournemouth couple are one of only two living to celebrate 80 years of marriage

Married 80 years today - meet Maurice, 102, and his wife Helen, 101

Married 80 years today - meet Maurice, 102, and his wife Helen, 101

First published in News

A BOURNEMOUTH couple are today celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary - and said if they knew the secret to a long and happy marriage they would 'bottle it and sell it'.

Devoted Maurice Kaye, 102, and wife Helen, 101, are one of just two known living couples to celebrate their 'oak' wedding anniversary.

They met when she was just 17 while working for her father's women's wear firm where he also worked as a travelling salesman.

Four years later they married on August 27 1934 in a London Synagogue and have been living in Dorset since the end of World War Two.

Together they owned and ran a chain of five women's wear shops in the town and now spend their days playing bridge and spending time with their two children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Helen said: "It's been a wonderful marriage - if I knew the secret to a happy marriage I would bottle it and sell it.

"We have battled our way through life - it's been hard work and not without tragedy but we've had so many good moments together too.

"We have a lovely family who come and see us often and a carer who lives with us and looks after us full time but we are both beginning to creek a bit now.

"It works because we just have the same sense of humour - we just laugh at the same things.

"Unfortunately we can't do too much now but our family are taking us out for lunch today - my son and daughter are coming round to take us out."

The couple have suffered as much as they have celebrated over their eight decades together.

Tragedy struck in their lives when two of their children - son Anthony and daughter Lesley - died when they were young so they now they revolve their lives around other son Larry and daughter Tina.

And they are still very much active in their old age - Maurice had a flying lesson for his 90th birthday present and wants nothing more than to get behind the wheel of his car - which he no longer has.

It was also a car - a dark red Morris Oxford - that helped Maurice win Helen's heart as she admitted she fell in love with him because he had one.

Helen added: "They took his last car away when he was 100 years old - we still haven't forgiven anyone for that!"

Maurice's grew up in Hoxton, east London, while Helen was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to England aged six.

When war was declared in 1939, Maurice joined the army but was given compassionate leave when their south London home was bombed just before D-Day in 1944.

Meanwhile, his comrades went to Normandy and his detachment disappeared - and he later discovered they had all been killed.

After the war, the couple moved to Bournemouth and have stayed at the seaside resort ever since.

Helen said: "We loved it immediately in Bournemouth and we have loved every minute of here down here after our London home was sadly bombed.

"It's much safer on the south coast."

Comments (25)

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12:05pm Wed 27 Aug 14

bosco1 says...

Fantastic couple, I dont know them but would love to, 80 years of life together shows love is out there, hope they both enjoy today together with the family, best wishes for many more years together.x
Fantastic couple, I dont know them but would love to, 80 years of life together shows love is out there, hope they both enjoy today together with the family, best wishes for many more years together.x bosco1
  • Score: 51

12:27pm Wed 27 Aug 14

mungobean says...

Congratulations to you both, have a wonderful day!
Congratulations to you both, have a wonderful day! mungobean
  • Score: 33

12:27pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Marty Caine says...

A massive congratulations to them both, nice to read a story that puts a smile on my face.
A massive congratulations to them both, nice to read a story that puts a smile on my face. Marty Caine
  • Score: 41

1:17pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Ayles 10 says...

They both look very much in love and far younger than their years. Many congratulations!
They both look very much in love and far younger than their years. Many congratulations! Ayles 10
  • Score: 34

1:19pm Wed 27 Aug 14

KitKatPuss says...

What a lovely story....congratulat
ions Maurice and Helen :) It's so nice to read something positive and happy.
What a lovely story....congratulat ions Maurice and Helen :) It's so nice to read something positive and happy. KitKatPuss
  • Score: 29

1:39pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Sun lover not rain says...

What a fabulous couple, just seen you on the national news and had to leave a message on your local papers web site. I wish you all the best for a few more years yet by the looks of you both. I think you're both brilliant.
What a fabulous couple, just seen you on the national news and had to leave a message on your local papers web site. I wish you all the best for a few more years yet by the looks of you both. I think you're both brilliant. Sun lover not rain
  • Score: 35

1:39pm Wed 27 Aug 14

jetronic63 says...

Congratulations to you both - I hope you have a wonderful day.
Congratulations to you both - I hope you have a wonderful day. jetronic63
  • Score: 18

2:02pm Wed 27 Aug 14

littlekoala72 says...

What a lovely story - makes a welcome change from all the usual doom and gloom!!
What a lovely story - makes a welcome change from all the usual doom and gloom!! littlekoala72
  • Score: 24

2:16pm Wed 27 Aug 14

kingsgreen says...

How heartwarming to hear! My husband and I are coming up to 40 years, hope we make it to 80!
How heartwarming to hear! My husband and I are coming up to 40 years, hope we make it to 80! kingsgreen
  • Score: 23

6:22pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Carolyn43 says...

Heard them on Radio Solent this morning. Both are still completely with it mentally and sound more like 60 than over 100.

Congratulations to both of you. Here's to many more years together.
Heard them on Radio Solent this morning. Both are still completely with it mentally and sound more like 60 than over 100. Congratulations to both of you. Here's to many more years together. Carolyn43
  • Score: 14

6:44pm Wed 27 Aug 14

old buffer says...

Having seen them interviewed, it is obvious that they have retained a keen sense of humour and still make each other laugh. They have also had extraordinary luck with their health. What a great story, and what an elegant lady!
Having seen them interviewed, it is obvious that they have retained a keen sense of humour and still make each other laugh. They have also had extraordinary luck with their health. What a great story, and what an elegant lady! old buffer
  • Score: 15

6:53pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Roy Stockdill says...

I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.
I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: -5

7:41pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Ayles 10 says...

Roy Stockdill wrote:
I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.
And your point is what exactly?? Can't you just congratulate them on such a special occasion? Some people.....
[quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.[/p][/quote]And your point is what exactly?? Can't you just congratulate them on such a special occasion? Some people..... Ayles 10
  • Score: 16

8:01pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Roy Stockdill says...

Of course I congratulate them, whole-heartedly. Especially as I am someone who has only been married for a mere 50 years!

I merely comment because the point that they changed their surname from a Jewish one to a more common English one appears to have been missed by all the media, which I find an interesting part of the story. But, then, we genealogists and family historians find the quirks of family history extremely interesting. It's part of what we do or have you never seen Who Do You Think You Are? ?
Of course I congratulate them, whole-heartedly. Especially as I am someone who has only been married for a mere 50 years! I merely comment because the point that they changed their surname from a Jewish one to a more common English one appears to have been missed by all the media, which I find an interesting part of the story. But, then, we genealogists and family historians find the quirks of family history extremely interesting. It's part of what we do or have you never seen Who Do You Think You Are? ? Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 3

8:02pm Wed 27 Aug 14

The Cerne Giant says...

Roy Stockdill wrote:
I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.
Where ever and what ever their is always one strange plonker on board the Echo comments confection

. . . ABTW my congratulations to the young couple
[quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.[/p][/quote]Where ever and what ever their is always one strange plonker on board the Echo comments confection . . . ABTW my congratulations to the young couple The Cerne Giant
  • Score: 4

8:09pm Wed 27 Aug 14

charlie2004 says...

Just seen this adorable couple on TV. What an amazing pair, they really do have their wits about them and both of them look amazing. Enjoy your day and I hope there are many more to come, it wouldn't surprise me.
Just seen this adorable couple on TV. What an amazing pair, they really do have their wits about them and both of them look amazing. Enjoy your day and I hope there are many more to come, it wouldn't surprise me. charlie2004
  • Score: 8

8:29pm Wed 27 Aug 14

optimamater says...

I don't think your comment is strange Roy Stockdill. I find this story so heartwarming but also very interesting. My mother was Polish but born here during the war. Her mother put her a baby home in Devon....and didn't see her again for about 20 years. Both my grandparents were Polish, my grandfather taught in Warsaw university.. and I believe they may have married there. They both served in the UK under British command, never returning to Poland. We have been trying to trace our geneology and it is fascinating but made much more difficult as my grandmother was Jewish and has different names on her documents. My mothers Polish surname was also anglicised. So I totally understand your comment and yes it's a very interesting fact the media haven't picked up on. What a lovely couple...they would be fascinating to talk to!
I don't think your comment is strange Roy Stockdill. I find this story so heartwarming but also very interesting. My mother was Polish but born here during the war. Her mother put her a baby home in Devon....and didn't see her again for about 20 years. Both my grandparents were Polish, my grandfather taught in Warsaw university.. and I believe they may have married there. They both served in the UK under British command, never returning to Poland. We have been trying to trace our geneology and it is fascinating but made much more difficult as my grandmother was Jewish and has different names on her documents. My mothers Polish surname was also anglicised. So I totally understand your comment and yes it's a very interesting fact the media haven't picked up on. What a lovely couple...they would be fascinating to talk to! optimamater
  • Score: 3

9:04pm Wed 27 Aug 14

RM says...

Happy anniversary to you both & hope you have had a wonderful day together.
Happy anniversary to you both & hope you have had a wonderful day together. RM
  • Score: 2

9:12pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Roy Stockdill says...

Thank you for your comment and understanding, optimamater! There seem to be one or two people here who are somewhat ignorant and have very little understanding of the importance of family history and relationships as they apply to individuals. I enjoy solving problems and mysteries and I first noticed there was a bit of a mystery surrounding this couple when I couldn't initially find their marriage in the General Register Office indexes - which, by the way, are online and available to the entire world, so are in the public domain and there is no intrusion. I then assumed they had changed their name at some point, which proved to be the case. As I said, I found this a very interesting part of the story which all the media seem to have missed. It does not in any way diminish my respect for them and my good wishes.
Thank you for your comment and understanding, optimamater! There seem to be one or two people here who are somewhat ignorant and have very little understanding of the importance of family history and relationships as they apply to individuals. I enjoy solving problems and mysteries and I first noticed there was a bit of a mystery surrounding this couple when I couldn't initially find their marriage in the General Register Office indexes - which, by the way, are online and available to the entire world, so are in the public domain and there is no intrusion. I then assumed they had changed their name at some point, which proved to be the case. As I said, I found this a very interesting part of the story which all the media seem to have missed. It does not in any way diminish my respect for them and my good wishes. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 1

9:50pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Roy Stockdill says...

The Cerne Giant wrote:
Roy Stockdill wrote:
I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.
Where ever and what ever their is always one strange plonker on board the Echo comments confection

. . . ABTW my congratulations to the young couple
Thank you for your comment, Cerne Giant. You sound about as clever and intelligent as the ancient hill figure whose name you have adopted as your pseudonym, i.e. an enormous ****!

You clearly understand nothing about genealogy and family history, which I have been involved in for over 40 years and I am among the best-known genealogists in the UK. Look me up with Google sometime.

You fail to understand that my original message was not in any way intended to denigrate Maurice and Helen Kaye. On the contrary, I admire them enormously and wish them more years of happy marriage. I was simply interested in their origins and why they changed their name, probably about the start of WWII as I said.

My point was that I uncovered the fact that they were not married in the names that they have today and that they had clearly anglicised their surname from a Jewish one to an English surname and I was slightly surprised that the media didn't mention this..Had I been the editor of the Bournemouth Echo (and I am a retired Fleet Street journalist) I would have thought it interesting and appropriate to publish their original marriage certificate as part of the story.

I am sorry you obviously fail to understand this.
[quote][p][bold]The Cerne Giant[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: I am a professional genealogist and, purely out of interest, I looked for their marriage in the marriage indexes of the General Register Office for England & Wales. I couldn't initially find it, but I did eventually track it down and discovered they had changed their surname slightly, probably anglicising it when WWII broke out. They were married in a synagogue at Southwark registration district, South London, in the July-September quarter of 1934 as MAURICE KATZ and HELEN or HANNAH REGENBAUM. Their four children were born with the mother's maiden name given as REGEN. No-one else but me seems to have discovered this, unless it has been omitted by agreement.[/p][/quote]Where ever and what ever their is always one strange plonker on board the Echo comments confection . . . ABTW my congratulations to the young couple[/p][/quote]Thank you for your comment, Cerne Giant. You sound about as clever and intelligent as the ancient hill figure whose name you have adopted as your pseudonym, i.e. an enormous ****! You clearly understand nothing about genealogy and family history, which I have been involved in for over 40 years and I am among the best-known genealogists in the UK. Look me up with Google sometime. You fail to understand that my original message was not in any way intended to denigrate Maurice and Helen Kaye. On the contrary, I admire them enormously and wish them more years of happy marriage. I was simply interested in their origins and why they changed their name, probably about the start of WWII as I said. My point was that I uncovered the fact that they were not married in the names that they have today and that they had clearly anglicised their surname from a Jewish one to an English surname and I was slightly surprised that the media didn't mention this..Had I been the editor of the Bournemouth Echo (and I am a retired Fleet Street journalist) I would have thought it interesting and appropriate to publish their original marriage certificate as part of the story. I am sorry you obviously fail to understand this. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 3

9:56pm Wed 27 Aug 14

sammmymac says...

Perhaps they don't want any of that unearthed on their happy day. Anglicised names are commonplace.
Perhaps they don't want any of that unearthed on their happy day. Anglicised names are commonplace. sammmymac
  • Score: 1

5:44am Thu 28 Aug 14

seniorgal says...

Interesting stuff looking into the past.I know you say its on line but a novice like me is not very bright,I know my great grandmother was Millicent Edith Adis(spelling could be wrong) she married my greatgrandfather whose first names I dont know but his surname was hardwick.She was a russian jewess and he unfortunately a gentile.He knew she got pregnant to someone else but married her to save her reputation,but her family sadly dissowned her for ever,I did here that her mothers name may have been Pinka,again not sure of spelling.I only know that they escaped from russia at some time,but how sad life was back then
Interesting stuff looking into the past.I know you say its on line but a novice like me is not very bright,I know my great grandmother was Millicent Edith Adis(spelling could be wrong) she married my greatgrandfather whose first names I dont know but his surname was hardwick.She was a russian jewess and he unfortunately a gentile.He knew she got pregnant to someone else but married her to save her reputation,but her family sadly dissowned her for ever,I did here that her mothers name may have been Pinka,again not sure of spelling.I only know that they escaped from russia at some time,but how sad life was back then seniorgal
  • Score: 2

7:33am Thu 28 Aug 14

Siska says...

I used to do some cleaning for them some time ago. What a lovely people. Congratulations! Xxx
I used to do some cleaning for them some time ago. What a lovely people. Congratulations! Xxx Siska
  • Score: 2

8:30am Thu 28 Aug 14

FordCan says...

Creek/creak. Somebody leave the office dictionary on the bus, did they?
Creek/creak. Somebody leave the office dictionary on the bus, did they? FordCan
  • Score: 1

4:40pm Thu 28 Aug 14

diane.jackson 63ntlworld.com says...

My grandfather's firm MJT Thomas and Co of Kingsland Road Shoreditch created the drop lighting effect in your Boscombe store when it first opened and in later years my deceased mother worked in your Boscombe and Bournemouth Stores her name Mrs Violet Thomas. Many congratulation on a truly wonderful achievement
My grandfather's firm MJT Thomas and Co of Kingsland Road Shoreditch created the drop lighting effect in your Boscombe store when it first opened and in later years my deceased mother worked in your Boscombe and Bournemouth Stores her name Mrs Violet Thomas. Many congratulation on a truly wonderful achievement diane.jackson 63ntlworld.com
  • Score: 0

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