Newcastle to St. Albans to Hatfield and back to Newcastle.
The story of our search goes back to 1948 when on behalf of our client we were asked to find his childhood sweetheart
She was named Vivienne, born in 1942. No doubt given that name after the actress Vivien Leigh. John spent quite some considerable time checking and rechecking all UK birth listings for that particular year. Firstly with anyone of the same name born around the year 1942-3 in Newcastle and surrounding areas. He then further extended the search to a 100-mile radius of Newcastle as well as any overseas births, in the unlikely off-chance she was born abroad. Finally he extended it further to a nationwide search. But once again, unfortunately, nothing doing.
As he was about to close off for the day he happened to notice one particular birth listing which caught his eye. It drew him towards it like a magnet. Hardly daring to believe he might be on to something, he cautiously pressed on.
He discovered a 1942 birth listing with precisely the exact name he was searching for. However, it was registered at the other end of the country in St, Albans Herts. John admits he rather sloppily dismissed the St. Albans birth like a million to one! Intriguingly there was another listing in 1944 for possibly her sister (correct name) in nearby Hatfield Herts. With Johns’s good knowledge of UK geography, he linked these two entries. However, upon further investigation, this data made it pretty conclusive we had hit the jackpot.
However, later in life, neither appeared to have ever married or divorced anywhere in the south of England. But striking, and crucially he found two ladies with the exact maiden names he needed were married in Newcastle during the early 1970s. This fitted in nicely because if the marriage had taken place any earlier by their ages it would have ruled them out.
John armed with this information proceeded to bounce it off the client also named John who (turned out to be the real star here) Crucially he confirmed somewhere deep in the back of his mind he recalled the girl’s mentioning that Dad was asked during the wartime to locate to St. Albans/Hatfield. It was to perform urgent and secret work on aircraft manufacturing for the war ministry. The factory was located in or near Hatfield. Well, blimey, we said!!
John being our WWII expert was on this straight away. Born in 1946 in nearby Luton he had an uncle who had worked at the De-Havilland’s aircraft factory in Hatfield. Where during WW2 they manufactured the legendary De Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber. The fastest aircraft produced during WW2. Read here about the brilliant mission performed by a squadron of de Havilland Mosquitos.
So, that’s what Dad had been doing in Hertfordshire at that time.
John together with the client did some more work on it and Voila!….. Bang on-he got it!
Interestingly both sisters subsequently married in Newcastle which of course fitted in perfectly, thus completing the jigsaw, It turned out as he suspected the family all moved back to the Northeast.
It’s fair to say that our John being one of those from the so-called baby boomer generations proved the catalyst for us finding her. His knowledge of both Hatfield and St. Albans and the fact the De Havilland Mosquito was manufactured there.
Unfortunately, and very sad John later discovered that our client’s little childhood sweetheart (his little darling) died in 2019 at Cramlington, near Newcastle.
We have found her younger sister’s address and she appears to be still alive today. With the client’s approval, we are considering writing to her to confirm. We must confess John used a few “expletives” upon discovering this tragic outcome!! Each time this happens we all take it personally.
UPDATE HERE, GUYS. No, Vivienne is very much still ALIVE. Error in our external tracing mechanism. We corrected it and spoke to her, and she will be meeting up with him in 2 weeks. The client was in absolute heaven!