Rare family photographs found by Royal correspondent in New Zealand

An American news correspondent has come across rare pieces of his family history while in New Zealand covering the royal tour.

James Longman from ABC News posted a thread to Twitter yesterday telling the love story of his grandparents and their journey through the war.

Mr Longman met with New Zealand man Mark Cousins, whose grandfather was Longman's grandfather's orderly.

"He died in the war, but sent letters home saying how much he liked my grandfather  which prompted Mark to investigate.

"Their grandsons met up today in Wellington," Mr Longman said.

"Mark was in touch with my grandfather - in 1994 he sent him [a] letter but then the trail went cold."

Mr Longman replied to the AM Show on Twitter, saying neither he nor Mr Cousins knew how the album made it back to New Zealand.

Mark shared dozens of photographs and letters with the ABC reporter. Photographs of his grandparents and even some of his mother that he didn't know existed.

"My mum seems to have won a beauty pageant when she was about 10 in Cairo. I've never seen these photos," he said.

One particular photo Longman said made him cry.

"A photograph of my grandmother on the beach in Egypt. On the back is a message from her, and it says, 'Don't forget me, Gabby Sawaya' - 1st June 1940."

"So, Major Harold Claridge, from the New Zealand Royal Engineers," Mr Longman finished, "decades after you left this place for war, your grandson came home and rediscovered your history.

"You'll never be forgotten."


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