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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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BBC Look North reunites cousins after 68 years

As a young child, Denis Grout survived some of the worst bombing raids seen in this country during the Second World War. Twelve hundred people were killed during the attacks on the city of Hull.

Denis has now contributed some of his memories of those horrifying days to Hull City Council's History Centre archive and, on Wednesday 30 September, he also shared his story with viewers of BBC Look North.

Denis told reporter Phil Connell how he had lost touch with his cousin Mavis Fitchett after the war. Mavis was only three when she lost her mother, brother and sister in the Blitz. She was later adopted and lost touch with members of her birth family.

Denis had often wondered what happened to his cousin and, at the end of the report, Phil appealed for anyone that might have known Mavis to get in touch.

Denis said: "I knew that my mother had tried to get in touch [with Mavis] but, of course, she was adopted. She did really try but, in the end, she gave up."

Coincidentally, Mavis's son was watching Look North on Wednesday and today, 68 years after they last met, Mavis and Denis were reunited for the first time. Mavis was living less than three miles from Denis in Hull.

Mavis said: "I've gone to bits, completely to bits. I didn't think I had any family whatsoever and now it's made my life complete. Now I've got family again."

Look North editor Mark Hayman said: "It's rare to get the chance to film such personal and emotional moments. We're grateful to Denis and Mavis for letting us share their reunion and to their family for getting in touch."


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