Each month we’ll update this page and reward the senders of the best story, our 'star story', with a magnum of Champagne or a luxury food hamper. If you would like your story to be considered for this page, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you soon!!
This month’s STAR STORY comes from Bob Paylor in Newcastle, who with a little help from Who-Remembers-Me.com, managed to trace and meet up with several ex-Army buddies from the Royal Scots Greys. Bob, 74, explains: “I joined the Army in 1956, aged...
Ex-Army engineers reunited!
We knew each other to say hello to but didn’t really socialise together. No, my friends were Alan, Don, Roland and John.
We all signed up more or less at the same time and first met while stationed at Catterick in Yorkshire. Like me, they too were electrical and mechanical engineers and if they weren’t busy repairing tanks, they’d be fitting guns or fixing radios.
Then in 1958 our regiment moved to Münster in Germany. In those days we were frightened of the Russians and so much of our time was spent on practice drills. We were often called out at 2 o’clock in the morning, only to be told to stand down again! Still, we had some fun. I remember on one occasion I was supposed to be in charge of a gang of chaps going out for a drink to a pub in Lüneberg. Unfortunately I had one too many that night and spent most of the evening fast asleep! Alan, Don, Roland, John and I stayed in Germany for a few years and then one by one we left the Army. John was the first to go and I followed shortly after. We last saw each other in 1959. I went back to mechanics, bought my own garage and repaired military vehicles under contract. I also married shortly after leaving the Army; Margaret and I met in 1960 and we’ve been together ever since. I suppose nostalgia more than anything prompted me to look for John and the others. Shortly after registering with WRM I found Alan in Ramsbottom, Roly in Newbury and Don in Manchester. However the real surprise came when I found John through the site – with a surname like Smith I didn’t think I stood a chance, but within days I received an email from John’s son!
I’ve since met up with Alan and John, which was wonderful after all this time, and I now hope to organise a proper reunion involving all five of us. Thanks again to WRM for putting us in touch – the site really does work!”
Do you remember back in February 2009 we brought you the story of Les Parr and Bev Brittain, who, after almost 40 years of being apart, were reunited through WRM and set to marry? Well, a year later on February 14th 2010, that’s exactly what they did...
Childhood sweethearts reunited and married thanks to WRM!
Les wrote to share with us their happy news: “Dear Who-Remembers-Me.com, We thought we would get in touch once again to thank you for making our future a fantastically happy one.
Bev and I were finally married at Ayers House in Adelaide, Australia, on Valentine’s Day.
We were also able to bring both of our families together for a long overdue reunion.
The day turned out to be sensational for all of us and some bridges were re-built, which was an extra bonus.
The week before and the week after were spent at a beautiful holiday villa with the beach as our back garden. There were many mini parties including a very loud Hen’s Night (not that I was allowed in until the end). There was a gorgeous wedding gown made from toilet rolls and polyester fill as I saw in photos later. So many empty bottles of bubbly and wine too! We men had a relatively quiet Bucks Night away from the villa. I won’t mention the temporary loss of some items of my clothing and the addition of handcuffs (wink).
Bev organised everything and made all the stationery, decorations and flowers herself. Then as the big day approached, we decided to engage a wedding planner to ease the stress of the final preparations. This turned out to be a wise move as from that point on we relaxed and entertained all of our overseas and interstate family and friends.
The wedding planners also arranged for our story to be told in the Adelaide Sunday Mail and the Perth Sunday Times newspapers, which was extra special! The actual day was perfect! We had a gorgeous blue sky, it was 28 degrees outside and the location was the historic home of the former Premier of South Australia Henry Ayers.
The ceremony was held in the state dining room (now a museum) and the reception in the grand ballroom. Waiting for Bev to arrive I was very calm and comfortable with family and friends around, but the second Bev appeared my legs felt like jelly and I was very emotional. Bev looked so beautiful walking down the aisle escorted by her very handsome son.
As she came to stand beside me I felt her hands shaking; I looked into her eyes and saw my future happiness totally confirmed. We both managed to remain steady through the ceremony even though we were overwhelmed by the joy of it all. The reception was incredible with lots of fun and laughter. Of particular note was that there was absolutely no generation gap as all joined together to celebrate. At one stage in the evening every single person was on the dance floor which is something I haven’t seen before.
We completed this fantastic day with a stretch Limousine ride back to the villa and enjoyed Champagne and sang along to the music. Altogether it has been the best time of our lives. Bev and I feel so lucky that all this started after meeting up again through WRM. Warm wishes and thanks
Bev and Les Parr” You are very welcome! We’d like to say ‘all in a day’s work’, but your story is truly special! We wish you all the best for the future! WRM
William, Wales UK
This month’s Star Story comes from William Green of South Wales in the UK, who recently connected with former work colleague and old friend Dave Underwood through the site. Here’s his story: “I have recently lost my very dear and loving wife to that...
William, Wales UK
Former friends from The Shire back in touch
Living in a remote part of South Wales with no near neighbours makes my solitude even harder and this is where the Who-Remembers-Me.com website has come into its own and helped me through the loneliness.
I came across this website whilst surfing the Internet, about all I am able to do without moving about too much and causing me physical pain because of my spinal problems.
I decided to put in details of the place where I once lived and indeed spent all of my young teenage years; ‘The Centre of The Universe’ as we used to call it, or ‘The Shire’. This was of course Bedfordshire, and the place was Dunstable.
My details were seen by my friend’s sister and she put me in touch with her brother Dave Underwood, a dear friend of mine those hippy happy days of the late 60s and early 70s!
We were work friends initially, both working at an electrical retail shop outlet that was known as Loyd’s Electrical. Then one day a couple of grey suits walked into the store with a tin of whitewash and said “you’re redundant, whitewash the shop windows and we will give you your white envelopes with your redundancy money in, and then it’s goodbye”.
My envelope had about £150 in it and I went straight down to a men’s boutique (as they were known then) and blew the lot on a “Gestapo” style leather raincoat that I really liked and which lasted me for many years after that.
Dave and I last saw each other in the 1970s just before I moved from Dunstable to Norfolk with my parents. I’ve since learned that Dave went on to front his own rock band; The Koan Brothers with Dave as the lead singer and guitarist; acoustic, electric and mandolin. His ‘Blues Style’ voice is truly AMAZING!
He’s also married and lives in Brighton, and his wife Christine also from Dunstable, used to live just around the corner from where I lived and only a few doors away from where my very dear late wife Pauline lived; in fact their families knew each other very well! It really is such a small world! I’m so pleased to be back in touch with Dave after all this time. Thanks to all at Who-Remembers-Me.com for unlocking past treasures and reuniting old friends once again.”
This month’s Star Story from Keith Gallagher in Australia is a lovely reminder of what Who-Remembers-Me.com is all about:
“About two years ago after a lovely dinner and an even lovelier couple of bottles of red wine, I was feeling very melancholy...
Broughton neighbours reminisce about life on Charlotte Street
“About two years ago after a lovely dinner and an even lovelier couple of bottles of red wine, I was feeling very melancholy and started thinking about the lovely Old Town I’d been born in, Salford in the UK - not to be confused with the Dirty Old Town! I turned on my computer and started looking for sites in relation to Salford and soon came across Who-Remembers-Me.com. My family (my parents, one older sister and two older brothers) and I immigrated to Australia in June 1960 and I often wondered what had become of where we used to live, No 26 Charlotte Street in Broughton. Did anyone remember the Gallagher family? I knew our old house had since been demolished circa 1963 but did anyone remember anyone from my family and more specifically, did anyone remember me? Well I checked my emails for two years but I didn’t receive any replies from the Salford area. Salford Council did send me some lovely photos of the front and back entries to our house, but nothing from any of my former neighbours. Then a couple of months ago I checked my emails again and there was one from a lady named Rosemary. I nearly fell off my chair. Rosemary and her family used to live next door but one from us in no 22 and she and my sister used to play with their dolls together! Incredible!
I definitely remembered the family name which was McColl and I remembered her family. When we started corresponding it was just like the years rolled away; we spoke of people in the street who we both remembered and although I was only 11 when we left England I could recall them vividly (my family have always said I have a good memory).
Rosemary still lives in England, in Cheetham, and has grandchildren of her own now, and I’m still in Australia, in Sydney, New South Wales, a great part of the world. I married an Aussie girl and we had five children. Sadly I lost my wife to cancer but I’ve been lucky enough to meet another lovely lady since, so at the moment life is pretty good.
However there will always be a part of me in Charlotte Street. We lived in a typical ‘two up two down’ terrace. It was not one of the most affluent areas of England in the 50s & 60s and life was always a struggle for my parents, even though as kids we were too young to realise. We never had great wealth but we did have a lot of love and fun, (love provided by my mother, a wonderful person).
Our neighbourhood gang got up to lots of innocent mischief; playing football in the street sometimes until 10 at night, the occasional broken window - then run for your life! It was amazing the fun you could have with no money in your pocket.
I remember we had a game we liked to play and the nearest spelling I can get to it is ‘uralio’ (where you picked equal gangs and then tried to capture everyone in the opposite gang – does anyone remember it?).
But my favourite memory is of bonfire night, gathering firewood for weeks beforehand to have the biggest and best bonfire, toffee apples, treacle slabs all made by the women of the street and my favourite of them all, potatoes in their jackets put directly on the coals and when cooked, smothered in butter - magic memories. I am 60 now but I can still taste those buttery jackets…! Since that initial email from Rosemary we have corresponded regularly and she seems to be a lovely lady. It’s hard to believe we lived on the same street nearly 50 years ago, but that’s how long it’s been since I left England.
I’m glad I joined Who-Remembers-Me.com and as pleased as punch I drank those two bottles of wine two years ago! Had I not I may never have gotten around to thinking about my old house on Charlotte Street. Thanks for bringing the past that little bit closer.”
Wallace Hall, USA
This month’s Star Story comes from Wallace Hall in the USA who recently reconnected with Kevin Wheeler, of Australia. Wallace first met Kevin some 40 years ago when travelling the world. He and Kevin became good friends but lost touch when their travels...
Wallace Hall, USA
Found! Travellers back in touch after 35 years
We got talking and I offered him and his British companion a lift as far as Tehran.
They accepted and so all four of us set off for Tehran. On the way we stopped off in Afghanistan, staying at the house of an Afghan traveller I’d met in Nepal. He wasn’t with us but he’d asked us to pop into to see his family. He couldn’t visit them in person because his return to Afghanistan would have meant he’d have to sign up to the Afghan army.
So we spent some time with them before continuing on to Tehran. I remember we arrived in Tehran on the night of my father’s birthday. We stayed here for around two weeks before Kevin took the bus to Ankara, and Karen and I drove to Turkey in our Fiat 500! Kevin's British companion flew home to England in Tehran. Once in Turkey we met up with Kevin again and stayed with a Turkish friend, a University student. We couldn’t travel any further for a while, not in the car anyway because the engine was dead.
In the end I had to fly to Italy to get the parts needed to get it going again. We then drove down to Kiz Kalesi on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. We camped on the beach for six weeks before driving on to Istanbul, where we stayed with a family we met at Kiz Kalesi BP Moto Camp.
Karen stayed with them while Kevin and I continued driving through Turkey, Greece, the then Yugoslavia and on into Italy. In Italy, we met up with these two nice Italian girls who gave us a place to crash as long as we promised to behave ourselves, which of course we did!
Karen flew in to Milan and we spent some time together before Kevin left and made his way to Holland and Karen and I eventually returned to the States. All in all we spent about three months travelling together. Kevin and I became good "mates" as the Aussies say. We kept in touch for about a year, with occasional postcards, and then sadly we lost touch. I knew he was in New South Wales, but that was about it.
Fast forward to now! I go online one day to check my email and lo and behold, 35 years later and there’s an email waiting for me from Kevin! I couldn’t believe it!
He was married with a daughter and it was his daughter who had tracked me down through Who-Remembers-Me.com. After all these years I was back in touch with Kevin!
We’ve been busy catching up on all that’s happened since we last saw each other and I've invited him and his wife to come visit us in the USA. I can’t wait to catch up in person and to see how much he’s changed!”
This month’s Star Story comes from Phil Wilkins in Plymouth in the UK who with our help has managed to trace ex Tenpin Bowling buddy and dear friend Neil, some 8,000 miles away in Australia. Phil, now 50, explains: “I met and made friends with...
Bowled over by web contact
Apparently she had brought their son out of Australia back to the UK without the Court’s permission, and was thought to be somewhere in the South West of England. So Neil made a base for himself in Plymouth. We often met up to go bowling and although we didn’t win any tournaments,
Neil left his mark by setting a centre record in a fours tournament! We were also friends outside of the bowling alley and would often go for walks along the sea front or Plymouth Hoe as it’s called. Well one of those days will stay in my memory forever. We were taking a stroll on the Hoe, talking as you do, when all of a sudden Neil took off leaping a fence to the park across the road, grabbing this kid and crying “my son!”. Incredibly, he had found him! It was an extremely emotional moment, even for me.
Things soon sorted themselves out after that and Neil remained in the UK for a while, regularly seeing his son at weekends as my family did. We supported Neil in his efforts to get his ex-wife and son to return to Australia and Neil even lived with us for a while so he could save up for the air fare.
Eventually he did go back with his ex-wife and son and we promised we would keep in touch. We did for a while but then my marriage fell apart and in all the turmoil I lost Neil’s contact details. 15 years passed; I remarried and last year we visited Australia. Knowing I was in the same country as him but not knowing where he lived was incredibly frustrating.
More than ever now I wanted to find him – he had been like a brother to me and I really missed him.
By luck more than anything I came across the Who-Remembers-Me.com website. I filled in my details and almost instantly we were back in touch. He too was a member and now living in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia! I couldn’t believe it! I was like a kid again at 50! I was so excited – finally we were back in touch!
We email each other all the time now and there are plans for me to return to Australia, armed with his address this time, early next year. Can’t wait! Needless to say we’ve promised not to lose touch again. Thank you!”
This month’s Star Story comes from Lindsay Wilson in Edinburgh in the UK, who in 2005 undertook the mammoth task of computerising his school’s register. This has meant him getting in touch with a whopping 800 former pupils and apparently, we’ve been able...
Bringing Scotus Academy back together, pupil by pupil!
Once a place of learning and fun for over a thousand innocent and not-so innocent young boys, Beechwood House, once Scotus Academy, is now home to a private health company. But although the school is gone my memories live on, and by computerising the school’s records, I hope they’ll live on long after I’ve gone. My aim is to contact every FP (former pupil) in a bid to bring the whole school and all who attended back in contact. Sadly there are a number of pupils who are no longer with us, but I do have contact details for close to 800 FPs thanks to sites like yours. In fact WRM has been particularly helpful in putting me in touch with former pupils now living abroad, and because of events at the time, the Second World War had not long ended, there were several American, Italian and Polish pupils, not to mention Scots who later emigrated to other parts of the world, who I may have had great trouble finding otherwise.
As each year passes we hold a reunion and each year the number of FPs attending increases. I’m hoping 2009 will be our most successful year yet.
Your help in finding former pupils and making these reunions possible has been invaluable. Thank you.”
This month’s STAR STORY comes from Les Parr in Australia, who after almost 40 years, has been reunited with his childhood sweetheart and now the two are set to marry! In his own words, Les explains: “Turn back the clock to a now distant 1970… Life...
Childhood sweethearts reunited and set to marry!
I was really surprised and happy when she agreed! That kiss was to last me a long, long time but it was heaven to me. Life was down for me after that day but finally I got a girlfriend to spend my days with. Then one day, a big surprise... In 1972 my parents said we were packing up and moving to, yes you guessed it, Australia!!! It was the best news ever but the problem was, I had no address for Bev and no way of getting in touch with her again! I didn’t even know what state in Australia she lived in. Well, we moved and time moved on; I got married, we had four children, and over the years we moved house and changed jobs, as you do. I divorced in 1999 and started the single life again. I forget which year I joined Who-Remembers-Me but I think it was around 2005.
One date I’ll never forget however is the 16th September 2008. On this special day I received a rather special email from a very special lady. Bev had found me through the site and had got in touch! I was over the moon! Even better was the discovery that like me Bev was divorced and single again.
We exchanged a few emails and I decided it would be a fantastic break to travel from Perth to Adelaide to meet up.
And so on the 13th of November – another date to remember – I flew into Adelaide. I was so excited at the thought of seeing her again. Bev met me at the airport and I recognised her immediately.
She was still the same girl I desired so much 38 years prior. Bev was nervous for a few seconds but that first hug and kiss relaxed us both very quickly.
That first meeting was amazing and we chatted for so long trying to catch up on each other’s lives. We were like twins separated at birth for all the identical likes and dislikes we shared. Many of our life experiences were the same too. The days that followed just brought us closer and closer. We went into Adelaide city on the fourth day to do some shopping and stopped for a coffee at Gloria Jeans.
There we sat enjoying a coffee and a smoke in the beautiful sunshine; then time to do some more shopping… but I had another thing in mind! Bev wanted to go one way but I pulled her in the opposite direction. The shop next door was a jeweller’s shop! I bumped Bev with my hip as we reached the doorway and pushed her inside.
What are we doing in here she asked? I didn’t say a word but when the shop assistant asked if she could help, I requested to see their engagement rings! Bev’s face went a funny colour and she needed to sit down. I don’t remember actually saying "Will you marry me" but I didn’t need to as we both felt it was so right for us. Finally, after 38 years my dream has come true. I’ve got the girl I wanted all those years ago and on the 14th February 2010 we’ll be getting married!
Thank you Who-Remembers-Me for bringing us back together.”
This month’s STAR STORY comes from Pat Walker in Edinburgh, Scotland, who with our help, has recently reconnected and met up with three dear friends - all ex-Army nurses - after nearly 40 years apart. Pat, now 62, explains: “All four of us - Cary,...
Ex-Army nurses reunited after almost 40 years!
We were all close friends and shared adjoining rooms and records, and invariably shoulders to cry on after boyfriends had let us down. As the only females among several barracks of British Regiments, one German barrack and one American barrack, there were invites galore and when duties permitted we went. We had such fun! One night, shortly before we were due to leave for BMH Munster, we had all gone to the Rugby Club for a drink with friends who would follow us out on the next draft.
I had left my packing to the last minute and so was supposed to leave early. Well, I didn’t leave early enough and by the time I got back, the gates to the ‘Spiders’ (our accommodation) were locked and I didn’t have a sleeping out pass.
I would have been in a lot of trouble but I knew there was a back way in through a hole in the fence near F Spider – I wasn’t sure where it was, but it was worth a try! Anyway I ran all the way down the hill along the fence and at the last minute caught my heels in something that sent me flying base over apex into a huge bank of nettles!
As luck would have it, I had found the hole alright, but unfortunately no dock leaves to save my bacon. I hurried off to bed but was so badly stung I had to sleep in a bath of cold water. In the morning the gardener came early and noticed my bright, tomato-red dressing gown showing through the windows, suspected an accident and called the housekeeper.
He had made so much noise bashing the window that I had just enough time to escape to my room to get packed and dressed and away on the transport.
Two years later I came home for discharge and actually overheard a new recruit telling someone the tale and boy had it grown legs! It’s now a part of Army nursing folklore I expect. Those were great times but by the end of our training four years later we had all gone our separate ways; we had all, bar one, left for ‘civvy street’ and had lost touch.
Pam left to marry a Guardsman, Tony, and Rae had already met her future husband Steve, a Para. I completed my training and married my Bandsman Jonny after being admonished by Sister Tutor for holding hands going on duty, then left a year later on the day I got my exam results, for Edinburgh. Jonny and I made two flying visits to Aldershot and met both Rae and Cary quite by accident. Rae was pushing a pram with her first son Chris while Steve was in Ireland.
A year later we bumped into Cary at the traffic lights and managed a few words but when we circled couldn’t find our way back to exchange addresses. That was the last I saw of my nursing friends until last year when I found Rae on Who-Remembers-Me.com. We got in touch and met up with our spouses here in Scotland! It was brilliant to catch up. She had sporadically kept in touch with Pam and so we met up with her in spring 2008 this year, and finally Cary, who was in Devon, recalled Rae’s married name and found both of us!
The circle is now complete and we will definitely be keeping in touch. In fact, two of us have just spent a long weekend in beautiful sunshine with Rae, recalling old times and old friends - all thanks to you and after nearly 40 years apart!”
This month’s STAR STORY is very special indeed. It comes from Andrew Crofts from Victoria in Australia, who with our help, has managed to find a dear friend and ‘lost brother’ from the children’s home he grew up in. Andrew, now 43, explains: “I...
St. John's 'brothers' reunited
Robert gave me a telephone number but it threw me somewhat as it didn’t look like a number in Australia. Anyhow, he rang the next day at 2pm and we spoke for hours! We had so much to catch up on; all sorts of news, some great, some not so great. I just wish I could have been there to help him through the bad times. And the strange number? Well, he had moved from Australia to Holland! I was saddened to learn he had moved overseas as I would have liked to meet up with him, the very next day if possible! Still I’m so very happy that I’ve found him again. At least we are back in regular contact and one day he says he’ll return to Australia. Attached is a photo I’ve had with me since the day I left St. John’s. The handsome chap in red is Robert and the more recent photo is of myself and partner Lisa.
Thank you for reuniting two long lost brothers, maybe not biological, but brothers in every other sense.”