Sister thought long dead 'discovered' in care home

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The Independent Online

Imagine the shock of the brothers Alan and David Gambell when they received a letter addressed to their mother who had been dead for 25 years. On opening it, they discovered it was from a care home concerning their older sister Jean, who they thought long dead.

In 1937, before her brothers were born, Jean had been declared "feeble of mind" and "certified" indefinitely after being accused of stealing half a crown, about 13p, from the doctor's surgery where she worked. The money she "stole" was found weeks later.

Alan and David recalled having seen their sister when they were children, but always with a minder. The brothers were later placed in an orphanage and lost touch with Jean.

David, 63, said that although Jean, 85, had not seen her brothers in 60 years, "she took one look at us and said 'Hello Alan, hello David' and flung her arms around us".

"The best thing is to leave her in peace where she is," said David, adding that they were all looking forward to "doing normal things that family's do".

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