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Memories Surbiton Home Volunteers WWII

When Marjorie Morter met Peter Steiner

Vicky Peirson is one of the fabulous volunteers in our Surbiton Home and Vicky’s mother and father recently moved into our Surbiton Home. We’d asked Vicky a little while ago if her parents would be happy to share with us some of their memories of Valentine’s Day. Sadly, Vicky’s father passed away on 31 January. Vicky wanted to share their story on Valentine’s Day as a tribute to the love they shared.


When the petite Marjorie Morter met Peter Steiner for the first time she thought that she had never seen such a huge man in all her life. Marjorie, known affectionately by her family as Johnnie, had left her own family in Norwich to live with a cousin, Bernice, in Cuffley, Hertfordshire, in order to pursue the dream of becoming a hairdresser. She had taken an apprenticeship in Enfield. Peter was dressed in motorcycle boots and gauntlets and had accompanied his school friend who was courting Bernice. Both men cut quite a dash in those days on their motorbike.


When World War II broke out Peter joined the RAF and Johnnie went into nursing. They kept in touch when Peter was home on leave. A romance started to blossom and shortly before the end of the War, Peter recalled that they were lying in the grass in a field behind the house in Cuffley when he wondered out loud whether Johnnie would marry him. “But you haven’t asked me!” she replied rather primly. That was soon put to rights.


They were married at Northaw Church in Cuffley on 23rd June 1945. And so began their long and happy union; Peter the huge man devoted to his tiny, delicate wife. He took his wedding vows to heart and loved and cherished her throughout their marriage, proving a loyal, loving husband and father to their two children, Martin and Vicky.


This year would have been their 70th anniversary. Sadly Peter slipped away one night at the end of January, comforted by the knowledge that his darling wife would be safe and well-cared for now that they were living in The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton.