Old friends reunite after 72 years apart

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THEY lived next door to each other before the outbreak of World War Two, which led them to go their separate ways.

But after 72 years Arthur Harvey, 86, and Roy Hills, 83, finally met again after an appeal was published in The News.

The pair used to live in Longs Road, which was near Lake Road, Portsmouth, in their teens.

Mr Hills lost his father, who had been on the submarine HMS Thetis in June 1939, when it was hit before the start of the war.

Once war broke out, both men went to serve in the armed forces.

Mr Harvey, who now lives in Beverley, near Hull, with his wife Beryl, said: ‘It was the 70th anniversary of the sinking of HMS Thetis and I sent a letter to The News saying I remembered the incident and my friend’s father was a crew member.

‘Mr Hills’ nephew picked it up and contacted his uncle who in turn contacted me by email.’

Mr Hills, who is married to Ann and has four children, now lives in Ontario, Canada.

The old pals exchanged emails for two years, before they finally met each other in Portsmouth.

Mr Harvey said: ‘It was great seeing him. We walked around Gunwharf and remembered how Portsmouth used to be.

‘We’re hoping to meet up again, but this time we will be going to Spain.’