Family reunited after Journal appeal

Jimmy Bruce hopes some relatives of his late aunt will get in touch and he can pass on the precious

Jimmy Bruce hopes some relatives of his late aunt will get in touch and he can pass on the precious pictures. - Credit: Archant

A man has been reunited with long lost members of his family after a search led by the Beccles and Bungay Journal and EDP.

Mark Fairhead sent this photo in the 1970s when Olive and David visited the family in East Anglia.Da

Mark Fairhead sent this photo in the 1970s when Olive and David visited the family in East Anglia.Dave Sturrock, left, and Olive seated next to him. - Credit: Archant

Jimmy Bruce, from Arbroath, Angus, in Scotland, was trying to track down the family of his late aunt Olive Primrose Bullen after he inherited hundreds of her photographs, including those from her wedding day which took place at a ceremony in All Saints Church in Earsham in September 1950.

She was married to Mr Bruce’s uncle David Sturrock from Lethum, Angus, and he was granted power of attorney to his aunt’s estate when she died in 1996 aged 78.

After the story appeared in the newspapers, another nephew of Olive’s - 72-year-old Brian Bullen from Felixstowe - recognised his family and contacted Mr Bruce and has since received the 639 photographs.

His father was Ben Bullen, Olive’s brother, and he recalls the wedding in 1950 where his younger brother Gordon was the page boy pictured.

He said: “After hearing about the news story, I went out and got a copy of the paper and was in touch with Jimmy.

“We have all met in the past but it was so long ago we can’t recall.

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“The photographs arrived in a big box and there are some which none of us have ever seen, like my grandmother’s grave.

“I am planning to have a get together in the village hall at Earsham or Ditchingham very soon when all the extended family can get together and choose the photos they want and get copies if necessary.”

We were also contacted by Mark Fairhead whose father Alfred Fairhead was another Olive’s nephews. He has a photograph of some members of the family, including Olive and David Sturrock.

Olive Bullen was born in Earsham on April 23, 1918, Photographs from the wedding day showed the newlyweds and bridal party leaving the church along with family members, bridesmaids and a page boy, now known to be Gordon Bullen.

Mr Bruce said: “Other than Olive’s mother, who stayed the latter part of her life with Olive and Dave in Letham, I did not know any of her relatives, although I did meet some of them when they visited Letham.

“Since appearing in the newspaper I have spoken to Brian and been in touch with six other family members.

“I’ve had these photographs for 19 years now, just lying here, so it is fantastic to finally be able to pass them on.”

Another photograph shows Olive and David Sturrock at a celebration for their silver wedding anniversary.

Mr Bruce said: “I wasn’t certain about the date of this anniversary, but then I remembered this was a joint affair for my mother’s 60th birthday.

“As my mother was born September 30, 1915, the joint party was September 1975 and this in turn made the wedding date September 1950.

He explained how the his aunt and uncle may have got together all those years ago: “As far as I can find out, Olive and one of David’s sisters, served together during war time, in the WAF.

“During this time, maybe they were stationed in Scotland, David’s sister took Olive to visit her family home in Letham. David and Olive obviously hit it off and, as they say, the rest is history.”

The family is now hoping to arrange for a get together in the Earsham area where the photographs can be displayed for all the members of the extended family to see.

Have you been reunited with long-lost relatives? Email or call 01502 712060 to speak to a reporter.