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First world war mystery solved

PUBLISHED: 10:19 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 01 August 2010

A WOMAN searching for a long-lost relative to help solve a mystery surrounding the death of her great uncle has been reunited with him, thanks to Journal readers.

A WOMAN searching for a long-lost relative to help solve a mystery surrounding the death of her great uncle has been reunited with him, thanks to Journal readers.

Christine Bird approached the paper last month having found her uncle Herbert, who lived in Station Road, Ditchingham, could be one of the men found in mass graves during the first world war, near the tiny village of Fromelles.

Mrs Bird was tracing the family tree and believed David Norman, held the key to providing a DNA sample needed to establish Herbert's identity.

After being inundated with callers who thought they had information about David, who was thought to still be living in Beccles, Mrs Bird has made contact with him.

She said: “A very kind gentleman from Beccles called Derek Norman, no relation, knew that David had a cousin who rented out a property in the town.

“He asked the property agents to send a copy of the newspaper article to her with his details. She contacted him and he provided me with her number. I was then able to telephone her and she spoke to David on my behalf and he later called me.

“Although a little surprised he will be happy to help with the project if called upon to do so.”

Mrs Bird said she wanted to thank Derek Norman for his help.

Herbert, died at the tender age of 30, having been a sergeant in the 2nd/6th battalion. Mr Norman's help may mean that a official connection can be made between him and the mass graves.

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