A MILITARY couple brought their York wedding plans forward because of the increasing threat of war in the Gulf.

Corporal Leah Sandys-Parsons, 28, is on 24-hour stand-by to be flown to the region within two weeks as a member of the Catterick-based Royal Army Medical Corps.

She married Lance Corporal Michael Doherty, 24, at York Register Office on Saturday - less than 48 hours after they first found a date.

Register office staff pulled out all the stops to find a slot for the couple.

L Cpl Doherty, who is a member of the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment based at Strensall, said getting married would give the couple status within the military "should anything happen."

He said: "Leah could be out there for nine months or more, so because of the uncertainty we wanted to bring the wedding forward."

The groom's father, Jim Doherty, of Danebury Drive, Acomb, said he was extremely proud of the couple, who had planned to marry in August.

He thanked register office staff for their thoughtfulness and said a York hairdressers and hotel had also helped out at the last minute.

Updated: 12:10 Monday, February 03, 2003