PEEKING INTO THE PAST: Perry finds a bride

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Albemarle native Lonnie Warren Perry had been serving in the Army in England during 1943 when he met Winifred Lily of Watford, England. They married, on Sept. 7, 1944, while still in England.

After the war, the Red Cross set up short-term schools for English women who had married American GIs so they could learn the customs and foods of the United States. The ocean liner Queen Mary made several trips from Europe to New York carrying these war brides.

In April 1946, the ship’s fifth such trip included Winifred, who was to meet Lt. Perry who had arrived back in the United States just one week prior. (On this trip the ship carried 1,634 brides, 258 children, 442 infants and 101 civilians.)

When disembarking the ship, Winifred was surprised as she was honored as the 10,000th war bride to be transported to the United States by the Queen Mary. This milestone made national news as it appeared in newspapers around the country.

Unfortunately, their marriage did not last. Winifred later returned to England and what happened to her is not known.

{Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}