May 22 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Friday, June 8, 2012
SIBLINGS Josie Chapman and Anne Brockman are still reeling from shock after they discovered the long-lost half sisters they never knew existed.
Josie, 57, from Wimblington, and Anne, 59, from March, had thought they were the only children of their mother, Phyllis Mills, who died in 1997.
But in less than a year, the pair have been reunited with their two half sisters, Nikki Clarke, 63, and Jenny Flippence, 69, as well as a host of nieces and nephews.
Josie said: “I got a phone call last year from Jenny. She said your mum is my mum.
“Then a few weeks ago I got a phone call from Nikki. She said the same thing and I almost fell through the floor! I thought ‘what another one!’”
Jenny, who lives in Northamptonshire, was adopted after Phyllis gave birth to her in an unmarried mothers home during the Second World War. Nikki, who now lives in the south of France, was adopted at birth six years later.
The pair used ancestry websites and trawled Facebook to find their long-lost relatives - and now they are encouraging others to do the same.
Nikki said: “My friend was looking for her grandfather so I thought I would have a go and with Facebook and the Internet it became quite easy.
“When you’re brought up in the fifties as an adopted child, the idea was that the book was closed and you would never find out about your other relations.
“You were almost conditioned not to find out - but now I’ve unconditioned myself and I’m very glad I did.
“Everyone should do it because you could be wasting precious years with family you never knew you had.”
Phyllis’ four daughters came together for the first time last week to enjoy a meal at The Cobblestones, in March.
Josie, who is the wife of Fenland District Council’s markets and events manager Mike Chapman, said the reunion was “absolutely incredible”.
She said: “It’s amazing because we have suddenly got this huge extended family - it just goes on and on. When we met we even had the same mannerisms and the same giggle!
“It’s incredible because we were all trying to trace each other and we never knew it until now.”