Could you be former Brentwood man's long lost relative?

Mark Meher aged 10

Mark Mehrer, aged 10 - Credit: Mark Meher

A Brentwood man, now living in Australia, is looking to reconnect with family members.

Mark Mehrer, a born and bred Essex man, made the journey down under to start a new life after marrying an Australian.

They have been living in a former whaling town on the south coast of Australia, Albany, for the last 20 years.

After an ancestry search uncovered family members he is not in contact with in Essex, Mark is now appealing to anyone with information about his lost relatives to get in touch.

He said: "While tracing my family history recently, I came across an uncle, Charles Robertson, who worked at Ilford Ltd's Selo works in Woodman Road, Brentwood in 1939 and lived at 294 Ongar Road.


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"He died in Brentwood in 1965, aged 66.  He was the older brother of my mother, Kathleen Blanche Mehrer, nee Robertson, who died in 1946 shortly before my first birthday.

"Incredibly, for most of the first 20 years of my life, I lived within a mile or two of my uncle and his wife, Ruby, and had absolutely no knowledge of their existence.

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"I could have bumped into them in Brentwood High Street or seen them at the annual Selo children’s Christmas party without knowing who they were."

Mark believes his parents met as employees at the Selo factory, but when they married his mother was disowned by some of her family because Mark's father was not Catholic.

After his first wife passed away, Mark's father remarried a Joan Ridgewell, also from Brentwood and a worker at Selo, in 1948.

He said as Joan was a "member of an equally devout congregationalist family", it "possibly further alienated the Robertson family from my father and therefore his new wife and sons".

"As this all happened more than 70 years ago, most of the interested parties are no longer with us and I have so far not been able to ascertain if uncle Charles and his wife had any children," Mark said.

"If they did, I would like to know and get in touch with them. Charles married Ruby Constance Harding in 1931 in Billericay. She was born in Romford in 1905. If anyone knows anything, however trivial, about my recently discovered uncle and aunt I would be delighted to hear from them."

He would also like to hear from or about his "long lost childhood friend", Neil Robertson, who would now be about 75 but as a youngster lived in Heronway, Hutton Mount and went to "Forest School".

"We lost touch many years ago and it would be good to make contact again."

Anyone with information should email mehrer@activ8.net.au. 

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