Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 00:01, 28 June 2014 |
Tony Southgate, of Whybornes Chase, answered the door to a neighbour earlier this month to be presented with a letter addressed to him which had been sent to the wrong address.
Upon opening it, the 69-year-old discovered is was from a Richard Ralph, inquiring if his birth mother Kathleen Goody was also Mr Southgate’s mother – which she was.
At the age of 72, Mr Ralph had been given his birth certificate and by searching online had found his family tree which included photos of his mother and relatives.
The information he found was uploaded by Mr Southgate himself, who does ancestry as a hobby. He had posted a picture of his mother with an ‘unknown’ man – who turned out to be Mr Ralph’s father.
Mr Ralph was able to track down his half-brother’s address and fortunately, although he was a few houses out, the letter made its way to the rightful recipient.
Their mother had given up Mr Ralph when he was just two years old and he was raised by his father’s parents who emigrated to New Zealand when he was nine.
Grandad-of-six Mr Southgate said: “My initial response when my neighbour brought the letter round was that I don’t know anyone in New Zealand.
“But I knew what it was when I read the first few lines.
“Me and my siblings have known for about 40 years that our mother had a child in the early 1940s but was unable to keep the baby.
“When she was asked about the child she would only say she had named him Richard but didn’t want to talk about it.
“I phoned Richard and said ‘I’m holding a letter in my hands and you are quite correct – you are my half-brother’.”
Retired electrical engineer Mr Southgate said he had tried to track his half-brother down over the years but as he didn’t know his surname he had never been able to get anywhere.
He has already met up with Mr Ralph’s daughter Vicki, who was visiting England from her home in Australia, and he and his wife Lesley hope to travel to New Zealand and meet Mr Ralph and his wife Lynne next year.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.