Another Reunion

14 April 2008

Following on from the story of meeting up with a very old friend after many years, I remembered that I have another story of contacting someone from my past.  In this case, my very dim and distant past.

I was born in a military hospital in the days when fathers didn’t have a great deal of involvement in the birthing process.  Popped in to see wife when she’d washed, changed her nightdress and combed her hair.  Got a quick glimpse of new baby.

The day after I was born, my father returned to renew my acquaintance but was adamant that the baby my mother was breastfeeding wasn’t the same one he’d been introduced to a day earlier.  And he was right.  The baby was a boy and the grandson of a Field-Marshall!  A swap was surreptitiously made, in fear of Court Martial probably, and off I went home with the correct set of parents.

As a child, I was told by my father (tongue firmly in cheek, I promise you) that he hadn’t had to have me – he could have had a nice little boy called Mark.

Fast forward many years to the Gulf War in 1991.  I was watching television footage of a BBC correspondent interviewing British officers in Saudi Arabia when I noticed that, according to the name displayed at the bottom of the screen, the man being interviewed was my “bosom pal”.  I can’t remember what he looked like as I was transfixed by the name.  But for some reason I decided to write to him and tell him the story (which I was sure he wouldn’t have heard before).  I received a lovely reply.  Yes, he was definitely the same man (born on same day in same hospital as me) and No, he had no idea that one of his first meals had been at my mother’s breast – he was quite sure his mother wasn’t aware of this either!

It doesn’t seem to have done him any harm.  He went on to become a very senior officer and diplomat, retiring about 3 years ago in the rank of Colonel. 

My father would have been proud of him!



  1. Hmm… one wonders if you would have risen up through the ranks to such an exemplary military career if you were not swapped back.

    I have to admit – if you were giving telling me to jump I wouldn’t even pause to ask ‘how high’ – I’d be about 3m in the air 😉

  2. Gorgeous story. I wonder how long it would have taken your mother to twig she had the wrong baby – nappy changing time, perhaps? 🙂

  3. But I wanted a brother…!!!

  4. Judith – Bad Luck!

  5. What a cool story! Good on you for getting in touch with him 😀

  6. Yes, very courageous of you to contact him and tell him the story! LOL

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