Looking back... Whiteabbey man’s emotional reunion with long lost brother

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A chance meeting in July 1960 led to an emotional reunion for a Whiteabbey man with his long lost brother.

James Mackie, from Fernagh Parade, told the Larne Times he believed that his brother Ernest had been killed during World War II.

He explained that the pair had been reunited at Holywood Railway Station whilst returning from the Twelfth parade in Bangor.

He said that Ernest had rushed over to him asking if he was his brother.

It was James’s daughter Agnes who first recognised Ernest.

James said: “I was amazed. I thought it was a ghost. I touched his face to prove it was a real man in front of me.”

James indicated that during the war, he had been informed that Ernest had been missing in action.

“When I heard nothing further, I assumed he was dead.”

He explained that both parents were dead and Ernest had left home 24 years previously.

A fortnight previously, he had returned from England and had traced his brother to an insurance company only to be told he had retired.

Ernest said his wife had seen the resemblance to James and he had just gone over and asked if he was his brother.