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Times reunites duo 20 years on

PUBLISHED: 11:29 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 25 August 2010

MEMORIES: Syd and Rick.

MEMORIES: Syd and Rick.

AN 86-YEAR-OLD Australian emigrant who feared his brother in England was dead has spoken to him after your Times reunited them. Syd Bull, from Nowra, Australia, has not seen his brother Edward for 20 years but they exchange cards each year. When he move

AN 86-YEAR-OLD Australian emigrant who feared his brother in England was dead has spoken to him after your Times reunited them.

Syd Bull, from Nowra, Australia, has not seen his brother Edward for 20 years but they exchange cards each year.

When he moved in to a nursing home he lost his address book and had no contact with family. He feared his 87-year-old brother, who he thought lived in Dartford, had died when he did not receive a card.

But in a last ditch effort, a close friend of Syd's, Rick Meehan, also from Nowra, contacted us on Monday.

We immediately tracked his brother down to a house in Meadow Lane, New Ash Green, and put the brothers back in touch.

Syd Bull, who grew up in Eltham and Plumstead, said: "We write to each other a lot, so when I didn't hear from him I was very surprised and worried. I kept him in my prayers. I am very relieved, I have thought about him a lot."

Mr Bull lost his long-time partner, Nita Jennings, to cancer last June and, as he is practically blind, was placed in a nursing home and it was in the confusion of the move that he lost his address book.

Widower Edward, who has an MBE for his 18-year service as volunteer at the charity Maidstone Mediation, added: "I was so sorry to hear that he has macular degeneration and very sorry indeed to hear that Nita passed away."

Sydney, who lost his first wife after she was knocked down by a lorry, added: "I was so worried that I had lost contact with my whole family, it scares you that sort of thing.

"Edward wanted to know all about me and how I am. We had a really good catch up. It was wonderful."

Both brothers served with the Royal Navy during World War Two, then Syd emigrated to Australia in 1948, joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and has lived there ever since.

Mr Meehan also served in the RAN, as an aircraft mechanic like Syd, whom he met six years ago at a social club.

The 49-year-old said: "Syd had moments of depression and more so of frustration.

"He got very ill prior to Nita's passing and was in hospital when she passed away.

"He misses her enormously and when this happened it was as though he had lost more family members because he couldn't correspond with them.

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