Sussex soldiers reunite after 50 years
Three soldiers have reunited in Eastbourne after 50 years apart thanks to the sleuthing skills of a World War 2 D-Day veteran.
Corporal Bernhard Tedhams served in the Royal Sussex Regiment with Ken Pavey and Mick Chapman in 1956. The trio lost touch for over 50 years, despite Mick Chapman being Bernhard's best man at his wedding.
After a decades of searching, Berhard Tedhams found Mick Chapman when Robin Brown, a World War 2 veteran and professional people-finder used 192.com to trace Ken Pavey's address. Mr Brown served in the Royal Engineers in 1943, and now runs a people-finding enterprise.
192.com is the UK's leading people-finding website, containing 700 million public records. Robin Brown uses the site's 27 million edited electoral records to match a name and address. He found Pavey's address within 24 hours, and says: "192.com is the centre of my operations enabling me to have a high success rate when reuniting old friends."
Recalling his search Bernhard Tedhams says: "Robin Brown gave us Mick's address but no phone number. So the next day off we went to Brighton and turned up on Mick's doorstep! I had to pluck up the courage to knock on door, Mick answered the door and it was him! He did not immediately recognise me, but when he did he went mad! It was really good to see him again."
"I then got in touch with Ken Pavey and we made a date to meet up in Eastbourne at The Royal Sussex Museum on the 25th April 2012. It was windy and it rained hard all day. After having lunch the sun shone and the boys Ken and Mick said what a good day it had been"
Mick Chapman recalls:
"I did my National Service with The Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester between 1954 and 1956. It is where I met Bernhard 'Ted' Tedhams and Ken Pavey. Ted was my Best Man at my wedding in March 1959. It was sometime after that we lost touch with each other. You can imagine my surprise and delight when Ted and his lovely wife Jean knocked on my door.
"Ted and Jean had been looking for me for over twenty years, what perseverance! We had a good, long chat and took photo's I have also been to see Ted and Jean at their home in Kent and we keep in touch by phone.
We all decided to meet at The Royal Sussex Museum in Eastbourne. It was over 56 years when I last met Ken, It was wonderful to see them both."
Dominic Blackburn Product Director of 192.com says, "We are delighted to lean that we were of assistance in this case, and it's always so satisfying know we've helped reunite long-lost friends."
192.com reunites thousands of friends and families a year and has teamed up with South Atlantic Medal Association to reunite veterans of the Falklands Conflict.
Robin Brown veteran of D-Day. Robin Brown grew up in Herne Bay, Kent and watched the Battle of Britain from his garden, collecting scraps of metal from downed planes. After serving in the Royal Engineers from 1943 Robin joined a reinforcement battalion at the Normandy landings. He is now 85 and reunites hundreds of ex-service personnel with old friends. He runs findanoldfriend.co.uk and missedfamily.com which utilise 192.com's electoral roll databases, and births marriages and deaths indexes. "I run my websites as a necessary small income but it is a joy to help people reunite," he says. Of the four to five enquiries Mr Brown get's a day, he expects to convert at least two of these, reuniting people who have been out of touch for decades.