Forever friends: Women who were schoolmates, colleagues and even honeymooned together die within a week of each other after nearly 100 years of friendship
Two inseparable friends who went to school together, worked together and even honeymooned together have died within a week of each other – after being best pals for almost 100 years.
Annie Walsh and Ivy Turner, both 99, were born a month apart and were said to have never had an argument throughout their lives.
They met at the age of four during World War One as pupils at a primary school in Oldham, Greater Manchester and began an amazing 96-year bond.
Lifelong friendship: Annie Walsh and Ivy Turner, who both died last month aged 99, were born a month apart and were said to have never had an argument throughout their lives
They both left school aged 14 to work in the mills and played hockey and tennis together before becoming a foursome once they met their future husbands, Ivy marrying Fred Turner in 1932 and Annie marrying Albert Walsh two years later.
Although Fred died in 1976 due to bronchitis, Annie still looked out for her best friend throughout her heartache, and continued to invite her on walking holidays around the country until she moved into a care home 10 years ago.
Albert and Annie were moved into a different home seven years ago and Albert died not long after, but each friend managed to see each other.
The pair, pictured in the 1930s, met at school and left aged 14 to work in the mills before getting married
In a local newspaper interview Ivy said: 'We are more like sisters than friends.'
Annie added: 'Our friendship has lasted because we are both even-tempered and don’t get annoyed about things. We’re not a bad lot.'
Annie passed away on Valentine’s Day this year following a stroke and on February 21st Ivy followed her friend and slipped away too.
Annie’s daughter Christine Riley, 64, a former legal secretary said: 'I don’t know what happens when you die but I would like to think that once my mum died she looked down on Ivy and said, “come on Ivy, let’s go and find Fred and Albert and go for a walk together.”
Ivy, left, married her sweetheart Fred, right, in 1932 and Annie followed two years later marrying Albert (centre), each taking
the roles of bridesmaid and best man respectively
'It’s such a shame because they were only a couple of months off getting their telegram from the Queen. They were great friends so much so we would call Ivy, our “Auntie Ivy”.
Ivy who was born in April 1912, and Annie, a month later in May 1912, first met in 1916 at the former Higginshaw Lane School in Oldham and quickly becoming inseparable throughout their time in school until they left aged 14 to work in the mills together.
Albert, left, and Annie and Ivy and Fred, right, often travelled together as a foursome
When they met their future husbands, Fred owned a car and after Annie and Albert tied the knot, he surprised them all with a joint honeymoon trip to Blackpool where they enjoyed riding tandem bikes together along the promenade.
Throughout the war the girls continued
their work in the mills until Annie left to have her three children in
1942, and after the war Ivy and Fred teamed up to work on the markets
selling handmade curtains.
Annie, left, with Albert and Ivy at the beach in Blackpool, where they had a joint honeymoon
Mrs Riley added: 'As far as I know they first met aged four at what used to be Higginshaw Lane School. After they left school at 14 both mum and Ivy went to work in the mills like girls often would in those days.
'They also played hockey in their spare time and enjoy holidays together and then when they met their future husbands they used to go off as a foursome.'
Ivy married her sweetheart Fred aged 20 in 1932 and Annie followed two years later marrying Albert, each taking the roles of bridesmaid and best man respectively.
Ivy, left, with her nephew Barry and Annie, never had children while Annie and Albert had three
Christine said: 'They all became good friends. Ivy was the bridesmaid for Annie and after the wedding Fred offered to take the four of them to Blackpool for their honeymoon in his car.
'They went on holiday quite a lot together there and used to rent out tandems to ride along the front.'
Annie and engineer Albert went on the have three children, Barry, 69 Christine and Denise, 62, and despite Ivy and Fred not being able to have children of their own, Christine remembers the couple being a big part of their lives.
Christine said: 'They used to visit up at our home often and come on family holidays and they all used to enjoy playing tennis and going ballroom dancing together.
'They ran a market stall together selling handmade curtains that Ivy would make and Fred would go out in his car and buy the material.
After Fred died of bronchitis in 1976
Ivy, left, was left devastated but her best friend looked after her and even
carried on inviting her on their family holidays
'I remember when Ivy and Fred would take me and my sister out in their car when I was about nine – that was a real treat in those days because not many people had one.'
After Fred died of bronchitis in 1976 Ivy was left devastated but her best friend looked after her and even carried on inviting her on their family holidays.
Due to ill health, Ivy was moved to a care home 10 years ago, two years before Annie and Albert. Albert soon died but the ladies still continued to see each other thanks to Ivy’s nephew Barry King.
Annie was cremated in Hollinwood crematorium on February 27, her ashes spread over Albert’s Tree of Life which was planted after his death, and Ivy was buried just three days later on March 1 next to her husband Fred in Shaw and Crompton Cemetery.
Due to ill health, Ivy, right, was moved to a care home 10 years ago, two years before Annie and Albert
Christine said: 'It was nice that they were both reunited with their husbands, and now they are all together again.
'Annie and Ivy were definitely kindred spirits. To stay friends for that long without ever having an argument you’d have to be.'
Barry King, 68, Ivy’s nephew, added: 'The last time they saw each other was about two and a half years ago before they were unable to travel. That didn’t stop them from being friends of course. Ivy would often talk about Annie.
'When Aunty Ivy died I think her body just gave up.
‘If you ran a national competition to find the longest friendship you would be hard-pressed to find one longer than that of Ivy and Annie.'