Veteran Friends Reunite Five Decades After the War
Three soldiers served in World War II more than five decades ago and quickly became friends. They were recently reunited amidst family and friends and instantly rekindled their friendship.
Corporal Bernhard Tedhams “Ted”, Ken Pavey, and Mick Chapman served in the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1956. The three fought together and remained close friends throughout their service and even beyond their discharge. In fact, Tedham was Chapman’s best man at his wedding. Though the bond was strong and all three men valued their friendship, after the wedding the trio never saw each other again—until five decades later.
Tedhams never stopped thinking about his war buddies. He searched for them for many years without success, until finally he received a big break. World War II veteran, Robin Brown, professional people finder, assisted Tedhams with his search. Brown served in 1943 in the Royal Engineers. His current mission and full-time business is to help people find long lost loved ones. Brown found Tedhams an address for both Chapman and Pavey, but no phone number for Chapman.
Tedhams said, “Robin Brown gave us Mick’s address but no phone number. So the next day off we went to Brighton and turned up on Mick’s doorstep!”
“I had to pluck up the courage to knock on door; Mick answered the door and it was him!” Tedhams said. “He did not immediately recognize me, but when he did he went mad. It was really good to see him again.”
Tedhams contacted Pavey and the two planned a reunion at the Redoubt.
“It was windy and it rained hard all day,” Tedhams said. “After having lunch the sun shone and the boys Ken and Mick said what a good day it had been.”
Chapman stated he was in the service from 1954-1956, at which time he met Tedhams and Pavey.
“Ted was my Best Man at my wedding in March 1959,” Chapman said. “It was sometime after that we lost touch with each other. You can imagine my surprise and delight when Ted and his lovely wife Jean knocked on my door. “
Chapman was shocked to find out Tedhams was looking for him for the last two decades.
Chapman added, “We had a good, long chat and took photos. I have also been to see Ted and Jean at their home in Kent and we keep in touch by phone.”