Brothers in arms - at last

TWO long lost half-brothers who live on opposite sides of the globe met for the first time – thanks to The Evening Star.New Zealander John Whatling flew to the UK to visit his brother Peter Baldry six years after a letter was published in The Star appealing for information on relatives of his mother, Beatrice Whatling.

By Amanda Cresswell

TWO long lost half-brothers who live on opposite sides of the globe met for the first time thanks to The Evening Star.

New Zealander John Whatling flew to the UK to visit his brother Peter Baldry six years after a letter was published in the Star appealing for information on relatives of his mother, Beatrice Whatling.

The letter, written by John, was spotted by his uncle, Eric Talbot, of Ipswich. He got in touch to tell him about his half brothers and sisters, Peter, Susan, Tony, Michael and Jenny.


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But it was only when John paid a visit to the UK for a six-week stay that the pair met.

John, 67, who has met Peter's daughter Tracey and her three children, said: "It is all still trying to sink in.

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"I wasn't nervous about meeting up but when I saw Buckingham Palace on the in-flight screen I became a bit apprehensive.

"Peter was holding a placard at the airport but when we saw each other we knew who we were even without it.

"I was told I look like my mum, which blew me away we were also told we looked alike."

John got separated from his brothers and sisters because he was born out of wedlock in 1934.

He lived in a children's home. From there he moved to Surrey until he emigrated to New Zealand in 1961 because of a job offer.

John had visited Suffolk in 1974 and 1977 to find out more information about his family, but without much luck.

It was not until Shelagh Herring, of Pinecroft Way, Needham Market, who researched his family history, suggested that he wrote to the Star that set the ball rolling.

Meanwhile, the two brothers have been busy researching their family history and fitting in some of the sights of Suffolk before John flies back home early in September.

Peter, 57, of Cullingham Road, Ipswich, said: "What do we have in common? We found out we both like playing on the poker machines and bingo."

Sadly, Beatrice died in 1975 at the age of 60. She was born in Stradbroke and worked at Cranes for much of her life.

If you have any more information on the family history, contact Peter on Ipswich 01473 405232.

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