A couple who fell so in love they defied military orders and vowed to marry after just ten days are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.

Clayton-born Peter Johnson, 81, who began a career as a journalist at the Telegraph & Argus in the 1950s, fell in love with his wife, Elfi, 82, while serving in the Royal Navy in Hamburg in 1946.

They met while working in the navy's headquarters where his German wife-to-be took a job as a secretary after fleeing East Prussia to escape the Soviet invasion.

Even though Mr Johnson was forbidden from dating German girls by his commander the pair got engaged almost immediately and married at Tetley Street Baptist Church in Lidget Green, Bradford, in 1947.

He said: "The commander said we weren't allowed to go out with the German girls but she was a pretty lass and very bright. I took her out and about ten days later we got engaged. We've managed to bear each other all this time."

A former Woodhouse Grove School pupil, Mr Johnson took a job at the T&A, and went on to work as an international correspondent for Reuters and the BBC, taking him to London, Bonn, Moscow and Berlin.

As a roving reporter he covered major historical events such as the Agadir earthquake which devastated Morocco in 1960, and the trial of Nazi Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, in Jerusalem, when he was convicted of war crimes in 1962.

Since he retired nearly 22 years ago, Mr Johnson has taken to penning his memoirs which tell the story of his career in the media. Three instalments have already been published and he is currently working on the fourth.

Mr and Mrs Johnson return to Germany every year to be reunited with Mrs Johnson's old school friends from her time in East Prussia. They were split up when the war broke out, with Mrs Johnson moving into her aunt's house, shortly before meeting her future husband.

The couple settled in Beckenham, in London, but are returning to Bradford following their 60th anniversary this week, so they can celebrate with their son, Robin, who lives in Thackley.