Family who spend lives away from each other reunite in Gosport

From left,''Jan Aubrey, Malcolm Vine and Bridget Pelling at their reunion
From left,''Jan Aubrey, Malcolm Vine and Bridget Pelling at their reunion
Andy Elmes on stage with the church band.''Picture Credit: Keith Woodland

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A FAMILY separated for the majority of their lives were reunited in an emotional get-together.

Bridget Pelling, from Gosport, was fostered when she was four, while her sister, Jan Aubrey and her half-brother, Malcolm Vine were adopted by different parents.

We may all be siblings but we are all different people.

Bridget Pelling

The trio have lived different lives with Jan growing up in New Zealand from when she was eight years old.

They finally met at Bridget’s home. Bridget found out about Jan when she was 17 and spent 30 years trying to track her down while serving as a nurse in the Royal Navy.

Bridget, 65, then discovered that she had a brother three years ago when she received her file from Sussex County Council when she was nominating her foster mother, Freda Eason for an award.

Bridget told The News: ‘It was very exciting for all of us when we first met.

‘We may all be siblings but we are all different people.

‘Jan is like my mother, Malcolm is like his father and I’m very much “nurture” as I’m like my foster mother.

‘I do see similarities between myself and Jan.’

It was the first time that Jan and Malcolm met each other and Bridget said that they were nervous beforehand.

‘Jan really wanted to meet Malcolm and for the three of us to be together,’ she added.

‘He was a bit apprehensive about it at first but he had met me already, which was at The White Hart pub for a coffee a few years ago.

‘We all went for a meal after meeting at my house where had a really good chat and told stories about our lives.

‘We discovered that we had all 
led different lives but had good jobs 
and have all done very well for 
ourselves.’

Bridget now intends to track down her birth father, who she believes is Irish and was last traceable in the 1950s.

She has told people in a similar position to do the same if they have a similar urge.

‘I never thought that I would meet them when I started,’ she said.

‘I am really glad I have done it and all the work I put in was worth it.

‘I would say to anyone that is in a similar position to do the same and do not give up!’