The friendship of two war heroes from opposite sides of the world has been pieced together 75 years after their deaths, thanks to the discovery of a Bible in Staplehurst.
The holy book, which belonged to Flight Sergeant Morgan Swap, a wireless operator with the New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War, was found by Alison Round.
Her uncle, Sergeant Edward Finch, an upper gunner known as Teddy, was a comrade of Flt Sgt Swap’s in 153 Squadron.
Mrs Round's discovered the Bible going through her aunt Jean Finch's possessions when she passed away two years ago.
The 54-year-old said: "I found this little blue Bible which I had never seen before. I saw on the inside it had been given to somebody called Morgan Swap when he was training in Calgary in Canada.
"I had never heard of him before but since finding that Bible, I found out more about the flight crew and what happened to my uncle than I ever thought I’d know.”
It was this moment that triggered a series of events taking Alison and her husband Paul, 55, halfway across the world to return the Bible to the Swap family in New Zealand.
Mrs Round who lives in Clapper Lane added: "After a lot of research I found out that Morgan was the youngest of four brothers from a town called Matamata in New Zealand.
"Morgan was on the same Lancaster Bomber as my uncle. It crashed over Germany after a night raid on Nuremberg on March 16, 1945. This was just seven weeks before the end of the war."
Ten Lancaster Bombers from the 153 Squadron flew out to bomb Nuremberg that evening and only nine made it back.
All seven men on board were killed. Morgan was 22 and Teddy just 20-years-old.
Mrs Round added: "It was so tragic as it was their first operation together and they were all so young. Just young boys under instructions.
"They gave their all and they were so brave. My son is 22 now and I think there's no way he could have done anything like this, it really puts it into perspective."
Alison and Paul were returning to New Zealand, where they had got married, for their silver wedding anniversary and felt compelled to return the Bible to Flt Sgt Swap’s family.
"We were going back to New Zealand anyway and it was because of that I thought I should try and find the family and see if they would like to meet up with us so we could give the Bible back.
"I didn't know at the time but the Swap family are huge in New Zealand. They are civil engineers and they have a massive haulage business."
The couple managed to track them down online and arranged to meet at their home in Matamata in March - 75 years after their ancestors’ plane was shot down.
Mrs Round said: "The Swap family member I heard back from was called Morgan, named after his great uncle. I was quite surprised to get a reply and was so pleased when they said yes."
“We met up for lunch and exchanged photos of our visits to the Durnbach War Cemetery in Germany where the crew were buried and that’s when we realised we’d all been there at different times throughout the years.
"It was a really special moment especially when we all realised it was 75 years to that month that the plane had been shot down. It was pretty incredible but also really emotional.
"It seemed to be fate, it all came together at the right time. Meeting the Swap family was one of the highlights of my whole trip.
"It was very emotional giving the Bible back. It was only a small Bible but they didn't have much of his at all.
"They were such a nice family and we said if they ever come to England, they'll have to come and stay with us in Kent.
"We met as strangers but said goodbye as friends just like Teddy and Morgan."
Despite filling in so many gaps in their family's past, Mrs Round says perhaps the biggest mystery of all is why her aunt Jean Finch had the Bible in the first place.
"I still don't know why my aunt had it, none of us could work that one out," she added.
Despite the devastation of losing seven men, 153 Squadron continued serving to the end of the war and, when the hostilities were over, was called upon to drop food parcels to the Dutch.
The crew was given special permission to fly over St Paul’s in London on VE Day to see the celebrations en route to Holland.