Two war heroes who fell out of contact with each 40 years ago have finally been reunited – after discovering they only lived three miles apart.
Ex-soldiers Bonny Parks and Herbie Bright, both now pushing 90, fought side by side during some of the fiercest battles of the Second World War.
The pair were best friends up until the 1970s when they lost contact, but when Bonny was invited to a Poppy Dinner in honour of the Royal Anglian Regiment, he remembered his old friend Herbie.
Bonny’s son Robert said:
This prompted my mum to look in the phone book on the off chance that there might be relatives in Cambridge who might know what had happened to Herbie.
Dialling a number for an H Bright, we were amazed to find it was Herbie himself.
The old friends were reunited again on Thursday, and have agreed to meet up once every two weeks. They both served in the Suffolk Regiment from 1944 to 1949, which went on to become part of the Royal Anglians in 1964.
They fought alongside each other during the Normandy landings in 1944, before going on to see action in Belgium, the Battle for the Rhine, as well as the push through Germany.
Herbie, 89, said:
I was originally from Shropshire and Bonny was from the Cambridge area, and at first we managed to stay in contact. But in the 1970s, we lost touch.
Later I moved to this area, and often wondered about whether I might see Bonny again. I just never imagined we were living so close to each other.
Bonny, who is also 89, said:
Herbie is 90 next month and I’m 90 next April, and I didn’t think we’d ever meet again.
It’s great that we’re still going strong, and it is lovely to see him again. We went through alot together.
He added: “Wild horses won’t keep me away from the Poppy Dinner – because it’s brought us together again.”