GETTY/NORTH WEST NEWS
Jim and Hilda Leach have been buried together in the same church they got married at
Jim, 101 and Hilda Leach, 98, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on December 9th, marking 75 years since tying the knot in WWII.
Just days after their family party in Rushton Spencer, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, Mr Leach passed away peacefully with Mrs Leach by his side on December 17th at their home.
But their family said heartbroken Mrs Leach did not want to be parted from her husband – and on January 2nd this month she also passed away.
Now the couple – who had two daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren – have been buried at a joint funeral at St Mary's Church in Bosley, Cheshire.
In a fitting end to a wonderful, long marriage, the church is also the same spot where in 1941 the couple got married, just as Mr Leach was heading off to fight in the war.
Today daughter Anne Brooker said: "They were together for 75 years and mum said there was nothing to live for after dad died.
"Dad had seen everyone at the anniversary and said his goodbyes and it was his time to go, and when dad went it was time for mum to go too.
The couple were buried at a joint funeral
"It was a shock when mum went so quickly after losing dad but they kept going for each other.
They were together right until the end
Daughter Anne Brooker
"It was really emotional saying goodbye to both of them at the funeral.
"They got married in that church, their coffins were together at the service and they were buried together.
"They were together right until the end."
Mr Leach who was born in Whirley, Macclesfield, was orphaned when he was just six years old so grew up with his uncle at a farm in nearby Birtles.
As a teenager he started work with another uncle in his haulage business, Sam Cooper and Sons.
As World War Two broke out he met trainee chiropodist Mrs Leach by chance at a dance.
Instantly smitten, the couple were engaged for a year before Mr Leach was conscripted into the Army in 1941 so they married quickly with a special licence.
NORTH WEST NEWS
The couple tied the knot during WWII and passed away shortly after their diamond anniversary
After the war Mr Leach set up his own haulage company transporting milk from farms in villages around Macclesfield to Stockport and then collecting corn from Macclesfield to take back to the farms.
Daughter Anne described both her parents as "determined", explaining how her mum stunned doctors years ago by fighting back to full health after contracting polio and being told she would never walk again.
She explained: "Mum and dad were both very determined. They were a wonderful couple.
"Family and community was very important to both of them. We'll miss them very much."