Terminally-ill man's bid to find long-lost sister
PUBLISHED: 08:40 08 March 2019
A terminally-ill grandfather is urging Dunmow residents to come forward with any information about his long-lost sister, whom he has never met.
Up until last year, former taxi driver Frederick Duncan, 71, thought he only had one sister until archives in London, delivered to him on his birthday, revealed he had two more siblings.
Mr Duncan and his wife Liz, 66, believe his sister, born Katherine Olive May Leveridge in 1943, was fostered by a Dunmow family alongside eldest sister Patricia. Explaining why he made the decision to track down his siblings, Mr Duncan said: “I am terminally ill. I wanted to find out if they were still alive and what sort of life they had. If I do meet any of them it would be quite emotional. I would want to know what sort of things they did during their upbringing.
“It was a bit of shock to find out I had to sisters I had never heard of, it was quite a lot to take in,” Mr Duncan added.
Mr Duncan was born Frederick George Leveridge in Mile End, in 1947. At 10-months-old he and his elder sister, referred to in the archives as Margaret Jean Leveridge, were removed from their home and placed in the care of the council.
The siblings were at the same institution in Islington for a brief time before Margaret was adopted. Mr Duncan was moved twice, including to a residential nursery in Sutton, near London, before being fostered at six-years-old. He never met Margaret again.
Mr Duncan was “very close” with his foster father who died when he was still a child.
It was while visiting the grave of his foster father as an adult that Mr Duncan decided he wanted “closure” on his family.
The couple have been able to trace Patricia but Mr Duncan has yet to meet her. Based on information given by Patricia’s husband, Mr Duncan and his wife believe Katherine and Patricia were fostered by the same family in The Avenue, Dunmow, and that the foster father was called Frederick Miller.
Patricia’s husband informed the couple that Katherine used a wheelchair and had a daughter called Vanessa. He said he had heard Katherine had passed away. If she is still alive Katherine now would be in her mid-70s.
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