This Couple’s Children Bought A Double Coffin So They Could Hold Hands

“They used to cry a lot if they ever had to spend time apart,” explained their daughter.

1. Victor and Elsie Bower were teenage sweethearts from Sheffield. They were married in 1954.

Ross Parry /

2. They died last month, just nine days apart, after spending 65 years of their lives together.

Ross Parry /

Victor, 82, died of cancer on 8 February, after being diagnosed in 2009. Elsie, 80, had been in hospital with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She died on 17 February, from, her family said, a “broken heart”.

3. On Monday, they went to their rest in a double-sized coffin, still holding hands.

Ross Parry /

“They were always together. They used to cry a lot if they ever had to spend time apart,” their daughter Sharon Bower, 54, told The Star in Sheffield ahead of the service at Grenoside Crematorium.

She added: “They lived together and died together, so it was only right they went together too.”

4. “To me it didn’t seem right to have separate coffins when all Elsie wanted to be was by the side of Victor,” said Michael Fogg, the funeral director.

Andrew Mccaren /

He added: “I thought, ‘What can I do … to support a couple that even death couldn’t keep apart?’”

5. He said it was the first time a double coffin had been used in South Yorkshire.

Andrew Mccaren /

6. The couple, who lived in Parson Green, Sheffield, had two children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Ross Parry /

Victor served in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment before ending up as a plasterer for the city council, while Elsie worked as an inspector at various cutlery factories.

The couple moved to Chesterfield for a brief time, but returned to Sheffield and lived there for more than 30 years. In their retirement, they spent almost every weekend at their caravan in Saltfleet, Lincolnshire.

“They were really close and always together,” said Sharon. “Mum was in a wheelchair and on oxygen and because of that she never got to see him in hospital, which upset her.

“We were going to try and get her down, but he died the night before.”

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