I can't remember if, around the time of the Royal Army Service Corps reunion in north Devon, last October, I mentioned that I had managed to contact one of the DUKW drivers who featured in a few of the photographs in my journal about the UK nuclear tests at Christmas Island in the fifties.
Unfortunately - perhaps as a consequence of being exposed to radiation - he hadn't been enjoying very good health and wasn't able to attend the reunion. However, I was able to put him in touch with another DUKW driver with whom he had been especially pally and they had managed an occasional chat on the telephone or, perhaps, Skype. Sadly, however, he passed away shortly after the arrival of the new year and I've been led to believe his family gained great comfort from the fact that the survivor took the trouble to attend the funeral.
Life, however, goes on and, yesterday, by an intriguing coincidence, whilst I was trying to show my Best Man (who I met on Christmas Island) how I used the internet to trace our former colleague, I managed to contact another one who also featured in some of the photographs in the aforementioned journal. I even managed to find his 'phone number; so, we were able to chat for a while and exchange contact details - which, as soon as I've completed this blog, I'll forward to the rest of our little group.
Interestingly, my Best Man and our 'new' old friend live quite close to each other and they're making plans to meet up for a noggin - or two. Rather more interestingly, it emerged that they had previously met at a school parents' meeting over thirty years ago - a situation which illustrates the fact that maintaining old acquaintances seems more important as time passes; something which younger readers might want to 'take on board'.