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Marcus Taylor discovers secret family Down Under

Marcus Taylor, with his Australian half-sister Junia Kerr
Marcus Taylor, with his Australian half-sister Junia Kerr

A secret that took half-a-century to come to light has allowed a Kent man to meet the half-sister from Australia he never knew he had.

Months of work resulted in Junia Kerr, who lives North Bondi, tracking down half-sibling Marcus Taylor, of Nelson Close, Sheerness.

Their father Gordon Taylor married and had two children in Sheppey in the 1950s: Marcus, now 59, and Lesley, who died last year.

He left while they were young and moved to Australia and then New Zealand, changing his name to Bob Kerr. Over there, he re-married and fathered two children, Junia and Hagen.

Junia lived her whole life with no inkling of her father’s past until her dad, now 82, fell ill.

“He was always very secretive about his life back in England,” the 51-year-old said.

The only remnant of Bob’s old life was close family friend Brenda Cullwick, to whom he would often write.

“In the last couple of years he has developed Alzheimer’s so I wrote to his friend Brenda, from Esher, Surrey, and asked her if there was anything I should know about his past.

“She promptly wrote back and said 'Yes, here’s a photo of Marcus and first wife, Betty, and he has two children born on Sheppey.”

She then took steps to find her long-lost relations by contacting a man in England via the internet who reunites families in his spare time.

He managed to give her Marcus’s phone number.

Marcus said: “I came home from work, went into the living room and checked my messages. Suddenly there was this emotional Australian’s voice. She thought she was contacting my mother and said she was looking for us. Anyway, I was a little bit shocked to say the least.

“I didn’t reply straight away because I was thinking about my mother. After a week or two I decided to confront mum and she was actually very good about it.”

By this point Junia was getting frustrated, but her luck changed when she got the phone number of Peter Olliver, whose half-brother Leon is Marcus’s nephew.

He was able to get the two of them speak for the first time over the phone in a conversation that lasted four hours.

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