Cousins reunited for Remembrance Day thanks to great uncle

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REMEMBRANCE Day 2012 is set to be a particularly poignant event for a pair of distant relatives who share a war hero great uncle.

Duncan McGregor, a railway worker from Stepps, was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme on November 2, 1916, aged just 23.

However, his fate remained a mystery to great nephew Stewart Short (64), from Chryston, when his search for information about his family history drew a blank - until a remarkable sequence of events was set in motion.

On the other side of the world, unbeknown to Stewart, his long-lost cousin Yvonne Jamieson was having more success - tracing Duncan McGregor to the Middlesex Regiment.

When she found out that his name had not been included on the Stepps War Memorial she sent the details on to North Lanarkshire Council, who made the addition in April this year.

Stewart told the Herald: “I had done some family research and couldn’t find anything about Duncan, because his name wasn’t mentioned in respect to any of the Scottish regiments.

“We knew he had gone to war and had not come back, but that was all.

“The reason we couldn’t find the name was that he had actually enlisted into an English regiment.”

When Stewart was told that the name had appeared on the memorial he was puzzled and contacted the council to find out more.

He explained: “They told me that someone in Australia had contacted them, but they weren’t allowed to tell me who she was.

“I asked them to send her my thanks and contact details and the next day she emailed me.”

Last week Yvonne arrived in Scotland to meet her cousin for the first time.

The pair will go to the annual Remembrance day service together on November 11.

Stewart said: “It really is amazing. Yvonne emigrated to Australia in the mid-60s when she was just five-years-old.

“I remember meeting her grandmother a long time ago, but I had no idea that we even had an off-shoot of the family living in Australia.

“My new found cousin is now staying with me in Chryston where our great grandmother and grandfather were married in March 1892.

“We’re getting on like a house on fire.”

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