Jan Coggins and David Westcott
After being separated in the Second World War, a brother and sister were reunited after 80 years.
Jan Coggins is 79 and has finally found the family that she was looking for after meeting her long-lost brother David Westcott (84) in Darlington.
It is not entirely clear how Jan became separated from her family and ended up being adopted, but Mr Westcott has a faint memory of pulling a little girl from the rubble when Exeter was bombed during the war.
Mrs Coggins was always aware that her estranged relatives were there, however Mr Westcott never did. However, he knew that the girl he remembered as his sister. His instinct has now been proven correct as the pair have now one reunited thanks to a DNA test.
Beth Coggins Mordey (40), Mrs Coggins’ youngest daughter had found a match with a second cousin from her mother. But she couldn’t decide. If she should tell her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia about the amazing discovery.
Beth lives in Sunderland but reached out to her new family. Now, the older siblings are visiting Beth regularly Talk on the phone, or via video chat – we look forward to seeing each other again in March.
Beth told Teesside Live: ‘My wife Sandra and I had got in touch with David’s wife Phyllis and it took a while for her to see the message on Facebook but she got back in touch.
“We took a trip to Exeter, and we felt as if we knew them for ages. David was so similar to my mom.
Jane and Paul Coggins, with David Westcott and Phyllis Westcott. Jan Coggins was separated from her family. She ended up becoming an adopted child. However, Mr Westcott still has faint memories of rescuing a girl from the debris when Exeter was bombarded by bombs during World War II.
“When I was down there David had told me, “Will you ask your dad if it’s possible to meet his sister?”
“Dad knew that I was going to die, but nobody had told my mom. I was told by him that he would never refuse her access to her family, which she had searched for her entire life.
Beth said the reunion in Darlington ‘couldn’t have gone any better’ and her mother has a ‘new lease on life, Her shoulders have been lifted completely of excess weight.
She said that she had seen him once and thought it was wonderful. He was so excited to see her. It was funny, because she told him at the end that he shouldn’t wait so long ”.’.
Jan has not been able to find out much about Jan’s childhood and Jan doesn’t know how old Jan was at the time she was adopted.
Beth said that her family is not certain how old her mother was at the time of separation. They had assumed she was adopted from her birth and have no photos to prove it.
Following her marriage to Paul, Mrs. Coggins made the move from London to Darlington.