Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Runaway Gamal Turawa is reunited with Sheppey family who took him in more than 40 years ago

By John Nurden

Gamal Turawa ended up in Kent in the mid-1970s after running away from his abusive father.

Now 55, he appealed to readers in Sheppey for help to track down the family which gave him a bed for a night.

Allison Champ, who now lives in Northampton, read our story on Kent Online and is now in touch with Mr Turawa.

Gamal Turawa: searching for a Sheppey family who took him in (8363866)
Gamal Turawa: searching for a Sheppey family who took him in (8363866)

She said: "We knew him as Victor.

"I can still remember that night when my older brother Darren brought him back to our house in Rushenden.

"He had been taking the dog for a walk and came back and told mum he had found a boy.

"My mum asked 'What do you mean you FOUND a boy?'

"He was a little black boy all alone.

"We called the police but they allowed him to stay with us that night.

"I remember seeing him in a pair of my brother's blue paisley pyjamas. It was so memorable. We always wondered what happened to him."

"It was so memorable. We always wondered what happened to him..." - Allison Champ

Her mother Glenys and younger brother Stephen still live on Sheppey. The family is now making plans to hold a reunion.

Mr Turawa went on to join the Metropolitan Police and has recently retired.

When our sister paper the Times Guardian broke the news to him he said: "That's fantastic. Thank you so much.

"This really means a lot."

He had been trying to get to Canterbury to see his foster parents but caught the wrong train at London Victoria and ended up in Queenborough.

He recalled: “I arrived at night and just had enough money for a portion of chips. But as I was walking along the beach I bumped into some youngsters with a dog. They took me back home to their parents where we watched Cleopatra on the TV.”

The next morning police took Mr Turawa away.

He said: “I never knew their name but I’m pretty sure they will remember that night because they said I was the first black kid they had ever seen.

"I must have stuck out like a sore thumb.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More