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Friday September 21 2018

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In Full . . .

Fallen soldier’s family found at last

Posted on April 30 2018 at 10:09:04

Steve

A photograph of a Barnt Green man killed in World War II has finally been returned to his family, with a little help from The Village.

Two years ago we were contacted by Mary Fisher, who had discovered the picture hidden behind a studio portrait of her late grandparents – written on the back was “Mr Mills’ son, killed in Sicily”.

Her research revealed that the man was Bryan Wallace Mills, killed in action in 1943, and that his family had lived at ‘Kandy’, 12 Bittell Lane, Barnt Green.

Mary was very keen to see the photo returned to Bryan’s descendants, if any could be found. Our article appeared online as well as in print, and last month it was discovered by Steve Lee, who was researching his family tree . . .

“I was randomly researching on Ancestry and found a relative called Bryan Mills, who turned out to be a cousin of my maternal grandfather, Gordon Croome,” says Steve, who lives in Gloucester.

“I have a particular interest in relatives who served in the forces, so I did some more searching about Bryan, and eventually came across your article from 2016.”

Steve wrote to The Village, asking to be put in touch with Mary, and he has now received the photograph from her.

“We think the link between our families is that Mary’s grandfather was probably in the same Masonic lodge as Bryan’s father,” adds Steve.

“I think Mary is a proper sleuth and a lot of credit must go to her for keeping hold of this photo.”

Mary said: “We’ll never know why the photograph was hidden but I’m so happy that it is going to Bryan’s family, more than 75 years after it was taken.”

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