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Hunt for mum that son thought had died in war

PUBLISHED: 16:37 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 16 August 2010

A GRANDFATHER who emigrated to Canada 61 years ago spent most of his life believing his mother died in World War II, until discovering she was alive and living in England.

A GRANDFATHER who emigrated to Canada 61 years ago spent most of his life believing his mother died in World War II, until discovering she was alive and living in England.

When he was 14 John Goble from Courtenay on Vancouver Island, in Canada, was told by his father that his mother died in the Blitz.

It was only when he returned to the Westminster archives in central London to find out where she was buried that he discovered she was still alive. He said: "My father died in 1962 and my stepmom died in 1988 without either of them telling me the real story.

"She remarried in 1950 in Bromley - the same place where she married my father in 1940. Her married name is Marie Amelia Irene Harris, formerly Goble née Deacon. I was totally surprised with this new knowledge, and have mixed feelings about being misled by my father but there is nothing I can do about that.

"I have come to the point that I need to find where my mother is and also to meet my remaining brother and his family. I was an only child and to know that I have relatives of blood is a profound revelation."

At Bromley Central Library, Mr Goble, 69, could only find out where his mother lived since 1950. An old neighbour told him that his mother had another two sons but one of them died about 20 years ago. The remaining one is believed to live in Sevenoaks.

Mr Goble said: "The man my mother married was Reginald F Harris and I found the record of a death in 1988 of a person with the same name, but I can't be totally sure if it is the same person.

"I feel it is important to find this part of my family, not only for me but my daughter Sarah as well. I think there are probably a lot of these stories out there resulting from the confusion and terror of World War II."

Mr Goble was born in Leicester in 1941 and was evacuated to Liverpool during the war before living in Paddington, central London. The family then emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1949.

If you have any information about Mr Goble's mother or family, contact marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk or write to Marina Soteriou at Kentish Times Newspapers, Roxby House, 20-22 Station Road, Sidcup, DA15 7EJ


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