I got a call from my less than technology friendly Dad via my mum on Friday along the lines of “Can you set up your Dad with a new email?”
The reason? Well thats the mystery. Turns out that my dad has been contacted through Friends Reunited (a contact site for old school friends) a by a mysterious woman. Now the initial contact was just before Christmas IIRC, some woman looking for my auntie Joyce.
Auntie Joyce was my favorite ever auntie. She loved me and my brothers as if we were her own, took us on day trips, treated us to sweets, played games, did fun stuff, the kind of Auntie to me as I want to be Uncle to Charlotte. The fun one. The one that she will remember for ever. With the same fondness I have for Aunty Joyce. Sadly Joyce, my dads Sister, died of cancer complications in about 1985, she had married but never had any kids of her own…had she lived today she’d have been about 70.
Anyway, this woman starts this communication with my dad. Asking about Joyce and other stuff. The communication ended with the bizarre statement, “did she mention what happend in Kent in the 1950’s?”. My dad replied but, being naturally suspicious (a trait I have), kept key details to himself explaining to the woman that Joyce had died
Ok, more background. In the UK in the 50’s they had something called National Service. The post war years were still tense and Britain was rebuilding itself after the absolute twatting we got from the Luftwaffe. To ensure a strong military the government encouraged National Service were basically you would spend some time in a military establishment such as the Airforce, Navy or Army. Both my dad and Joyce, though at different times, chose the airforce. Now it is plausable that Joyce was stationed in Kent at the time that this woman mentioned in her email, in fact it is more than plausable. We know Joyce was in the airforce. We also know she was stationed in Kent somewhere, but not entirely sure which base.
Then the coup de grace. The woman reply was one of shock. She seemed upset that Joyce had died and her long reply basically said that what happend in the 50’s was that she was born! Now the sharper amonst readers of this entry will already know where this is going. In the 1950’s it wasnt as acceptable to be a single parent, indeed in some countries single mums had their kids taken from them and the mums were forced to work in workhouses. There was a lot of stigma attached to being a single mum. Noone wanted to bring shame on their families so a lot of children where given up for adoption.
So yeah. This woman starts claiming that she is Joyces daughter, born in the 50’s and given an adoptive name; her birthname, well I’ll come back to that. She claimed that in the late 70’s early 80’s she managed to track Joyce down. Joyce aparently told her she was unable to meet her as there were things happening in her life that may have complications (roughly around this time Joyce obviously discovered she had cancer) and left it at that.
Of course Joyce never ever mentioned anything about this. Nor did she mention anything about having a child or anything. My dad and his brother knew nothing of this. My Nan, the only other person who might have known something, died in 1993. Details which this woman gave could be checked. However the key detail, where Joyce was stationed in the 1950’s, can only be released to her next of kin,my uncle, who, as far as we are aware, is still alive somewhere living in dispair somewhere. Joyces death hit him really bad and news such as this might tip him over the edge so the general consenus was to keep quiet until we knew more.
So there you go. I could have a cousin that noone knew about. The scandal is rippling through the family. Curiosity levels rising. I think its perfectly possible. Why not? It could have happend. It could indeed be true, the same way that it could be a huge pile of festering bollocks. But I mentioned her birthname earlier didnt I?
Well this is the keystone that makes me believe….My Nan had a peculiar spelling of her first name. Her first name is not a too common one. Being part welsh and all…..So I guess you’ve already guessed….
Her “birthname” contains the same name, spelt the same way!
So there could be a thimble of truth in her story…but a carefully researched con could also contain as much detail. Im slightly sceptic. But part of me is screaming “ITS TRUE!”. My dad is researching it all as best he can. Which is why he wants a new email address. So he can communicate with the woman.
I’ll let you know when I know more myself…….