THIS WEEK IN 1975: Reunited after 30 years – but only thanks to a kind stranger

David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith
David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith
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The long-awaited Southsea reunion between David Curwen and the mother he thought had died nearly did not take place.

His mother and step-father, Mr and Mrs Cowell, and his brother Keith Curwen, were travelling from Manchester on their first visit to Mr Curwen’s home in Albert Road when they ran out of petrol at 3am.

‘I thought we were never going to get to Southsea,’ said Keith Curwen.

‘I tried to flag one motorist down but he just accelerated past. Luckily the next driver stopped and really saved us.

‘He took us to his home and then an all-night garage for some petrol. He was extremely kind and saved us from a tricky situation.’

For Mrs Cowell, it was the third reunion, the first in Southsea, with the son she had been trying to locate for 30 years.

When he was four years old, David was taken to Jersey by his father and left in an orphanage, under the impression his mother was dead.

He received a letter from the Salvation Army’s missing persons bureau 30 years on, asking him to contact Sybil Cowell, in Whitefield.

David said: ‘I phoned my mum and neither of us could talk sensibly.’