A berry romantic time at King’s

Berry familyImage: David and Alice with their daughter, Charlotte

This is the second in a series of articles spotlighting alumni who met during their time at King's and are now married to one another. We hope you enjoy the story of David and Alice Berry.

Alumni David Berry (BA, War Studies, 2002; MA, History, 2004) and Alice Devall (BSc, Anatomy, 2003; MBBS, 2006) are not your usual couple. Alice is a doctor and David is a warfare officer in the Royal Navy.

A doctor meets a “doctor”

‘We first met in Guy’s Bar at Boland House on Guy’s Campus,’ David says. ‘I was friends with some medical students and became quite familiar with that place. I was dressed as Dr. Evil from Austin Powers. Despite this, Alice kindly spoke to me.’

‘Our friend Sam introduced us,’ Alice adds. ‘Then we danced to some cheesy tunes for the rest of the night. I remember us being the only ones left in the Boland House disco ‘Inverse’ when the lights came on, so we must have got on pretty well.’

It really was a match made in heaven. Despite their first date being gatecrashed by David’s entire rugby team, Alice was smitten.

‘On our first date we went for cocktails at a bar called Freud in Covent Garden and then went to a very raucous bar called Roadhouse. Halfway through the evening the rest of his rugby team turned up so the ambience changed somewhat, but we still had a very good night.’

A date to go down in history

The affection was returned in full by David, who had no qualms about introducing Alice to his deeply-held passion for history.

‘As a history buff I’m afraid I subjected Alice to quite a lot of history-related dates, including the Imperial War Museum, probably more than once.’ But what could potentially be a dating mistake was actually one of the most significant factors that made Alice realise David was “the one”.

‘David’s interests, which are very different to mine, such as history, literature and politics, opened my eyes to the world outside science and I really fell for this. He is also still an extremely old fashioned romantic, which I love.’

Although the sciences and the humanities can academically seem worlds apart, this was no obstacle to the attraction that flourished between Alice and David.

‘I was attracted to Alice by her caring, loving nature and her sharp brain. It makes her an excellent doctor too,’ David says.

The BerrysImage: the Berrys on their travels

A match made in heaven

Though probably a secret wish for many students, it can be hard to imagine meeting your future spouse while navigating exams, student societies and fancy dress parties. As they say, sometimes you ‘just know’.

‘I knew immediately that Alice was the girl I wanted to marry. I suspect it took Alice rather longer! I worried for a long time that we might have met too early. I was wrong.’

Alice and David’s relationship at King’s was roughly equal parts history-themed dates, disco tunes and surrealism – all of which seems to have amused them unequivocally. Fortunately so, since a shared sense of humour can help make the best of less than ideal circumstances.

‘When I first stayed over David’s student house we slept in the kitchen as his room was so cold, and when we woke up in the morning a mouse had eaten our breakfast. I guess I could have run at that point, but I think we then realised we had the same sense of humour as we couldn't stop laughing and I kept coming back!’

Inspired to the sea by his Masters

As well as fending off hungry rodents, David also discovered his true calling whilst a student at King’s.

‘Shortly after completing my MA, I joined the Royal Navy as a warfare officer,’ he says. I’ve spent a number of years at sea, serving around the world including the Arabian Gulf and Afghanistan. It was my experience at King’s studying under Professor Andrew Lambert that made me realise the importance of the sea in our lives.’

Making it official

Despite rodent-infestations and sports team gatecrashers, Alice and David got married in 2013 and have a lovely daughter called Charlotte. The story of their proposal and marriage is a romantic one.

‘We had a weekend in Paris in September 2012 when the city was at its loveliest: warm, sunny and tranquil. After a hearty French meal near the Sorbonne, David proposed. I said yes and the rest of the night was a celebration in the wine bars of Montparnasse: parfait! We married in Christchurch, Dorset where I grew up. The beautiful Priory church holds a lot of memories for me, so I was very thankful to David and our friends and family for coming to party down there. The day really was enchanting.’

Though the pair have travelled widely over the years, and they still enjoy eating out (probably without the rugby team these days), looking after their daughter keeps them busy most of the time. We’d like to think, for anyone who was worried, that student houses in London have improved since David and Alice’s time – though we doubt it.

This is an ongoing series of stories about alumni who met at King's and we're on the hunt for more. Please email catherine.heath@kcl.ac.uk to submit yours. 

>> Read another story about married alumni who met at King’s.

>> Alternatively, why not meet up with some old faces at our annual festival, Alumni Weekend?

The BerrysImage: a wedding to remember

 Article published: April 2015




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