A couple who first met more than a quarter of a century ago at a Cambridgeshire Royal British Legion standard bearers’ training school will marry on Saturday.

Fellow standard bearers hope to carry out a guard of honour when 83-year-old Tom Brown and May Fowler, 71, leave Sawston parish church after the wedding service.

Tom and May are standard bearers for their local RBL branches - Tom in the City of Ely and May at Sawston.

Their long-standing friendship even has a competitive edge and they regularly compete in the annual Cambridgeshire standard bearers’ competition, which May won in 2017 and Tom the following year.

“May beat me by one point which made me more determined top take the title in 2018,” said Tom.

May has also carried the standard for the Eastern Region, representing Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and was on duty in Parliament Square for the Coronation in May.

Tom who served in the Third Battalion of the Parachute Regiment is also the regiment’s national standard bearer, attending a number of Paras’ events throughout the year including the annual ceremony at Arnhem every September.

May’s father served in the Army with the Gloucestershire Regiment. She didn’t follow him into the armed services and chose to train as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital in London.

Her interest in the RBL was sparked in August 1995 at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of VJ Day which effectively ended the Second World War.

“I saw how much that commemoration meant to my father and I decided to get involved,” she recalls the marches, the music and the ramrod-straight standard bearers.

She joined the RBL at Sawston and was asked to join the committee, appointed treasurer and later volunteered to train as branch standard bearer.

They won’t be wearing uniforms on Saturday but at the reception at Duxford Lodge there will be a RBL theme to the wedding cake and very likely other friends from the Legion will make sure there are standards on display.