Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 29, 2013

A proposal in England

A long life lived in love

By Kelly Lafferty The Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — When Edward “Ed” Brock was 18, he was sent by the Army Air Force to a base in Irchester, England, during World War II. At that same time, 21-year-old and Irchester native, Blanche Luck, joined the British Women’s Land Army, where she worked on farms. She came home to Irchester on the weekends. Ed met Blanche’s younger sister first. She would meet guys on the base and bring them to her family’s home only three miles away to meet her parents and have a family dinner. “It gave them a place to go instead of going to a pub and making a fool of themselves,” Blanche said. It was a weekend that Blanche was home when she and Ed first met. “Boy, he was a nice-looking blonde guy,” she said. Not long after that, Ed and Blanche started spending their time off together. They say there wasn’t much to do; so they’d go to movies or walk around the village. “You didn’t want to go far because you didn’t know if you were going to get bombed,” Blanche said. “You had to be careful of what you did and where you went.”

There were quite a few English girls who dated and married American soldiers then, but Ed never thought he’d be one of them.

“I didn’t have any idea of dating,” Ed said. “I was in the Air Force and I was taking it seriously. It’s just one of those things. When it hits, it hits. It just fell in place.”

After Ed’s dad sent him money from his bank account in the U.S., he bought a ring and proposed to Blanche, and a few months after that, they were married May 19, 1945, at St. Catherine’s Church in Irchester. Ed was 21 and Blanche was 23.

“When we married, that was it,” Ed said. “We never had any intentions of getting a divorce. We never even thought of it.”

Ed was sent to France for several months before he was able to return home in October 1945 to the United States after being overseas for about three years.

Blanche had to stay behind in England. She had to wait until her paperwork went through to go to the United States. The newlywed couple missed each other, but they watched so many other couples go through the same thing, so they knew what to expect.

“We had to write letters to keep the mail busy,” Blanche said. “We didn’t have telephones like you do now.”

Blanche had to wait six months until she was able to travel to the United States in April 1946.

“It was a big change to come from one place to another,” Blanche said. “I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone was so nice to me.”

The only thing Blanche had to get used to was the money.

“That was my biggest problem,” Blanche said. “When I would shop I’d have to give them a handful of money and tell them to pick what they want and trust them.”

She would especially buy a lot of cookies. While she lived in England they were rationed and she didn’t get to enjoy a lot of sweets. A lot of times entire families were given one egg for the week.

Blanche’s entire family eventually moved to the United States.

Ed and Blanche enjoyed their married life together and say they’ve always had a lot of fun.

“We’ve been lucky,” Ed said. “We’ve never been in want of anything.”

The Brocks say they weren’t rich, but they weren’t poor either.

“What you don’t have, you don’t miss,” Blanche said. “The Lord’s been good to us.”

In 1954, the Brocks built a house near Walton where they raised their four children.

Unfortunately, during their life together, they lost two of their sons in car accidents.

The Brocks relied on their faith to get them through those hard times.

“We just understand life and death,” Ed said. “It’s not the end; you face life as it comes.”

They agree their positive attitude towards life has gotten them far.

“You have to face your problem no matter what,” Ed said. “If you face it with a positive attitude, you’re going to win. You’re going to go places.”

Ed and Blanche both say they never argued very much.

“We don’t get in position where we’re all tensed up,” Ed said.

“There’s no sense in fighting and getting yourself worked up,” Blanche said. “That causes problems.”

They have faced ups and downs over their 68 years of marriage, but because of their laid-back demeanor, they don’t feel like they’re very old.

“I can’t believe I’m 90,” Ed said. “It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe it, more or less. I feel the same now as I did 20 years ago, except I gotta say ‘huh?’ once in a while.”