A Canadian woman is searching for her long lost brother in England and is appealing to Star readers for any information they may have. Because so many Canadians were stationed around the Star area, someone may have a vital piece of information.
The tragic story of a wartime family torn apart began when the Canadian soldier Clifford Harold Sims, with the Edmonton Regiment, married an Irish lady named Bridgette Murphy, who may have lived in this area, but whose family probably came from Portslade.
The couple had two daughters, Philomena Janet (Jan) and Assunta Eileen, but while Mrs Sims was pregnant with their son, Clifford was injured in an accident and sent back to Canada. Mrs Sims stayed behind to have their third child before joining him, but she died one day after the boy was born, at Woking Maternity Hospital on Aug 31, 1944. The boy was called John Phillip.
Mrs Sims' funeral was held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church (now gone) in Portslade. The two young sisters were put with a foster family and their baby brother was adopted.
Two years later they were put on a ship to Canada, accompanied by a Red Cross representative, and became wards of the Canadian government, who began searching for their father.
In 1949 their father signed a consent form for them to be adopted and that was the last time they saw him. They were aged five and six.
The father, who avoided all contact with his daughters, is now dead, and the two sisters have lost track of each other as well as their long lost baby brother.
Now Jan, aged 61, has one wish - to be reunited with the brother she has never seen. She is being helped in her search by Project Roots, the Dutch detective charity which helps war children to find relatives. Jan lives in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, and has repeatedly tried to find John through adoption agencies, but has met with a blank wall.
If anyone can help, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Project Roots, Prof. Pelstraat 59, 2035 CS Haarlem, Holland. The charity was started by Lloyd and Olga Rains. Lloyd was in the Canadian forces when he met and married Olga in Holland. They have managed to trace thousands of Canadian fathers who left unwanted babies behind in Europe. Last week they paid a visit to Aldershot to meet some of the people they have helped. They also encountered a hostile reception from one prominent Surrey veteran who refuses to acknowledge a son living in this area.