Family now complete

A Dersingham man’s family is now complete after tracking down his long lost American half-sister and learning about the father he never met.

For years Barry Durwood Carr hated his middle name but has changed his mind after it led him to meet half-sister Pamela Moody Stewart, who is currently visiting from Tallahassee, Florida.

Barry Carr from Dersingham with his sister from the USA Pamela Moody Stewart ANL-150811-090033009

Barry Carr from Dersingham with his sister from the USA Pamela Moody Stewart ANL-150811-090033009

Barry did not get the chance to meet his biological father Wallace Durwood Moody, who died in 1992.

Durwood, as he preferred to known, fell in love with Barry’s mother Joyce Roper while serving at the American air base in North Pickenham during the Second World War.

Now Barry, 70, and Pamela, 67, are making up for lost time. He said: “I feel like something has been missing for years.”

“Father: unknown” was stated on Dersingham man Barry Durwood Carr’s birth certificate – but 70 years on he is learning the truth.

Wallace Durwood Moody (far left in picture), which was taken in Tuesday Market Place KL April 30th 1944 ANL-150811-085845009

Wallace Durwood Moody (far left in picture), which was taken in Tuesday Market Place KL April 30th 1944 ANL-150811-085845009

When she was nine, Pamela Moody Stewart was told by her father, Wallace Durwood Moody, that she had a brother in England, but without knowing a name it seemed she would never meet him.

Finally Barry has met his American half-sister face-to-face after she flew in from Florida last week and the siblings have built up a strong relationship since getting in touch in September.

Pamela, of Tallahassee, said: “I always had the feeling that something was incomplete, that there was a part of me missing.

“Family relationships are important to me and I did not want to go to my grave without ever knowing my brother.

“If it was not for Barry pursuing it on this side, we may never have met as I did not even have a name.”

Their father, who preferred Durwood, had fallen in love with Barry’s mother Joyce while serving at North Pickenham. The pair were never able to get married and Durwood returned to America after the war.

Barry, who joined the navy at 15,was always aware of his situation but did not have a name.

When he was 30, his mother Joyce was dying and imparted Durwood’s name to Barry’s wife Patricia but her fragile writing made the first name look like John.

Father-of-two Barry said: “I was reticent about trying to contact my father as I didn’t want to upset anyone in my family or in his family.

“It always niggled me at the back of my mind, wondering what my father was like.”

This has changed thanks to Neil Mitchell.

While fitting a floor at Barry’s home, Neil, who works for Gary Rushmore, discussed his new hobby of genealogy with Patricia, who gave him Durwood’s name.

Within days he had returned with a pile of information and Barry then took up the search.

He found an obituary Pamela had written for her mother and when he saw the name “Durwood”, knew he was on the right track. Barry also found a telephone number on another post.

And in September, around the same time of the anniversary of his father’s death, he called.

But not expecting the number to be real, he hung up when Pamela answered.

Later in the day he tried again and Pamela, expecting it to be a cold call, picked up and Barry explained who he was.

Pamela said: “I couldn’t believe it. At our age you could be dead or near death and I thought I would never find him. My husband Edward came home and I told him I was talking to my brother. Barry was shocked that anyone knew he existed.”

Barry added: “If Pamela had hung up the phone then, I was blissfully happy. The fact that she had always known about me meant so much.”

The pair then spent two-and-a-half hours on the phone and using Facetime were able to see each other.

Barry has also been able to speak to his other siblings, Debbie, Ron and Buck.

Since then Pamela and Barry have built up a strong bond by talking twice a week on the phone, along with sharing emails and pictures.

Among the photographs shared was a picture of Durwood as a youngster, who bears a strong resemblance to Barry’s youngest son Ivan at that age.

Barry has also enjoyed learning a lot more about his father and also shares a number of traits including a strong appetite for books. Both men shared the habit of having three books on the go at the same time.

Barry said: “I’ve only read three books since September!

“My father was an upstanding bloke who worked hard, took care of his family, played music and liked a drink and a smoke.”

When she arrived in England on Wednesday last week, Patricia had brought a special gift, recordings of their father playing music. Durwood can also be heard talking in some of the recordings.

Pamela, who has four children and 12 grandchildren, said: “I think Dad would be very excited that we have met. I wore Dad’s ring and watch and gave to Barry along with his tobacco pouch.”

Barry and Patricia, who have five grandchildren, are hoping to go over to America shortly to meet the rest of the family.

Barry said: “I wish I could have met my father but I would have been mortified if I had hurt anyone’s feelings.

“This has been very humbling and I can’t believe the hospitality of my American family. It has been incredible.”

“Father: unknown” was stated on Barry’s birth certificate – but 70 years on he is learning the truth.

When she was nine, Pamela Moody Stewart was told by her father, Wallace Durwood Moody, that she had a brother in England, but without knowing a name it seemed she would never meet him.

Finally Barry has met his American half-sister face-to-face after she flew in from Florida last week and the siblings have built up a strong relationship since getting in touch in September.

Pamela, of Tallahassee, said: “I always had the feeling that something was incomplete, that there was a part of me missing.

“Family relationships are important to me and I did not want to go to my grave without ever knowing my brother.

“If it was not for Barry pursuing it on this side, we may never have met as I did not even have a name.”

Their father, who preferred Durwood, had fallen in love with Barry’s mother Joyce while serving at North Pickenham. The pair were never able to get married and Durwood returned to America after the war.

Barry, who joined the navy at 15,was always aware of his situation but did not have a name.

When he was 30, his mother Joyce was dying and imparted Durwood’s name to Barry’s wife Patricia but her fragile writing made the first name look like John.

Father-of-two Barry said: “I was reticent about trying to contact my father as I didn’t want to upset anyone in my family or in his family.

“It always niggled me at the back of my mind, wondering what my father was like.”

This has changed thanks to Neil Mitchell.

While fitting a floor at Barry’s home, Neil, who works for Gary Rushmore, discussed his new hobby of genealogy with Patricia, who gave him Durwood’s name.

Within days he had returned with a pile of information and Barry then took up the search.

He found an obituary Pamela had written for her mother and when he saw the name “Durwood”, knew he was on the right track. Barry also found a telephone number on another post.

And in September, around the same time of the anniversary of his father’s death, he called.

But not expecting the number to be real, he hung up when Pamela answered.

Later in the day he tried again and Pamela, expecting it to be a cold call, picked up and Barry explained who he was.

Pamela said: “I couldn’t believe it. At our age you could be dead or near death and I thought I would never find him. My husband Edward came home and I told him I was talking to my brother. Barry was shocked that anyone knew he existed.”

Barry added: “If Pamela had hung up the phone then, I was blissfully happy. The fact that she had always known about me meant so much.”

The pair then spent two-and-a-half hours on the phone and using Facetime were able to see each other.

Barry has also been able to speak to his other siblings, Debbie, Ron and Buck.

Since then Pamela and Barry have built up a strong bond by talking twice a week on the phone, along with sharing emails and pictures.

Among the photographs shared was a picture of Durwood as a youngster, who bears a strong resemblance to Barry’s youngest son Ivan at that age.

Barry has also enjoyed learning a lot more about his father and also shares a number of traits including a strong appetite for books. Both men shared the habit of having three books on the go at the same time.

Barry said: “I’ve only read three books since September!

“My father was an upstanding bloke who worked hard, took care of his family, played music and liked a drink and a smoke.”

When she arrived in England on Wednesday last week, Patricia had brought a special gift, recordings of their father playing music. Durwood can also be heard talking in some of the recordings.

Pamela, who has four children and 12 grandchildren, said: “I think Dad would be very excited that we have met. I wore Dad’s ring and watch and gave to Barry along with his tobacco pouch.”

Barry and Patricia, who have five grandchildren, are hoping to go over to America shortly to meet the rest of the family.

Barry said: “I wish I could have met my father but I would have been mortified if I had hurt anyone’s feelings.

“This has been very humbling and I can’t believe the hospitality of my American family. It has been incredible.”