Brother and sister reunited after a lifetime apart

North Devon Gazette

It has taken almost 80 years but David Westcott from Bideford has finally been reunited with his sister Jan. David and Jan were born in Exeter, during the Second World War, but were split up after Jan was placed in adoption. Â

David, 84, had a faint memory of leading a young girl from the rubble after Exeter was bombed in the War, but it wasn’t until Jan’s daughter Beth did some further digging that the incredible true story was revealed.Â

After a DNA test, it was confirmed that David and Jan, who lives in the North-East, were brother and sister, prompting an astonishing and emotional reunion between the long-lost siblings. Â

“When Jan was adopted, her name obviously changed, which made it almost impossible for us to find any information,” said David.Â

“Jan now has Alzheimer’s, so we travelled up to Darlington to meet her and the reunion was full of tears, laughter and joy. Even now, she will tell her husband to ‘ring David, my brother’, which is so special to hear. Â

“I can remember holding a little girl’s hand and taking her from the rubble in Exeter, but that was my last memory of possibly having a sister.”Â

This magical meeting only came about from the determination of Beth and the rest of the family, with the fantastic added bonus that Jan has shown some visible health improvements since the reunion.Â

“For so many years, my mum had searched for her biological family but never got anywhere,” said Beth. “I just thought about doing a DNA test and got in touch with a lady on Facebook to help piece together the jigsaw.Â

“We managed to find David’s Grandson and we were initially unsure whether to tell them what we had learned because it might have just opened a can of worms.Â

“We eventually got in touch and mum is thankfully well enough to completely understand the discovery. David had this recollection of a sister, which was also a shock because we thought mum was adopted from birth.Â

“The meeting was unbelievable and you could immediately see the family resemblance. They have spent a lifetime apart and beautiful that they finally got to meet.”Â