Despite getting married to different people and having children, the flame they held for each other never went out, and it only strengthened when they reunited.
"We have simply picked up where we left off. It's like being teenage sweethearts all over again," Eileen Billington, 78, said. "It's as though we have never been apart. As well as loving each other, we are good companions, just as we were when we first met. In fact, we are just like an old married couple."
She met Warner Billington when she was 16 and he was 17. They were neighbors in central England. Warner recalled seeing her one day when she was walking with her sister Margaret.
"I saw her and I was smitten," Warner said. "I got a pair of garden shears and pretended to cut the hedge outside my parents' house. When they passed, I said, 'Hello Margs, who's that with you?' and we got talking."
It wasn't long until he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and was moved a few hours away from his love. He kept the relationship alive by writing her letters.
When he would come to visit, they would go on dates, visit the beach and go to movies.
In just two years, they wanted to get married, but her father protested the marriage, saying the couple was too young.
"I thought Eileen's father was wrong, but I didn't propose," he said. "Somehow, we just parted after that. It was my fault, I just went my own way."
Despite the heartbreak, they both moved on.
Eileen married a man and started running a hotel with him in Newquay, Cornwall. They soon had a son and daughter. The couple were together until he died in 2006.
Warner also got married and had three sons with her. They stayed together until she died in 2010.
Warner and Eileen hadn't seen each other since the breakup, but they always remembered one another. When a friend of Warner's would visit Eileen's hotel, she would always ask him how Warner was.
After learning that his wife had died, she got back in touch with him to send her condolences. But the initial phone call led to regular phone calls until they decided to meet a year later.
Warner invited her to visit him, and when she did, the two burst into tears at the train station.
He had his "hair all silcked back and roses at the ready," he recalled. And after finally getting the approval of both of their families, Warner moved in with Eileen and they married in 2011.
"We both had very happy marriages, but anyone who tells you that they don't remember their first love is fibbing," Warner said. "Both Eileen and I often wondered about what might have happened if things had worked out differently. But we don't dwell on it now."