THIS WEEK IN 1990: End of horror for Horndean family

A Horndean family enjoyed an emotional reunion after oil company manager Jim Thomson joined other hostages finally freed from their nightmare in the Gulf.

Mr Thomson, 50, of Westbrook Close, who suffered from a heart condition, had defiantly refused to shave or have his hair cut until he was released from Iraq.

He arrived home to a joyous welcome from his wife Jenny, son Jeff, 19 and daughter Joanne, 22.

The Thomsons were planning a holiday in America as they caught up on lost time together.

Mrs Thomson said her husband was very tired and had lost a lot of weight but was physically fit.

She said she had not slept at all as she waited for news from Edward Heath’s mercy mission.

Mr Heath was the toast of Gatwick Airport as dozens of relatives flocked to welcome the Virgin Atlantic 747 carrying loved ones freed from captivity in Iraq.

Mr Thomson was released because of ill health along with 33 other hostages.

Mrs Thomson said every day of her husbands captivity had been a nightmare.

She said: ‘It was the worst 12 weeks of my life.’

More from Heritage