Plea for help to find the family of Dagenham grandma

PUBLISHED: 17:30 18 January 2017

Donna with her gran Patsy King when they met for the first time in the early 1980s.

Donna with her gran Patsy King when they met for the first time in the early 1980s.


A woman whose gran died having never known her is appealing for help to trace her history and family.

Donna and her dad, John.Donna and her dad, John.

Donna Munn’s grandmother Patricia King, known as Patsy or Pat, moved from Greenock near Glasgow to Dagenham in 1962 after her relationship with her husband Joseph O’Donoque Munn hit the rocks.

After trying in vain to rekindle their love, Patsy and Joseph’s marriage broke down. Both returned to Greenock with their newborn son, John, but Patsy came back to Dagenham more than 400 miles away after her mother-in-law took her child from her and raised him to believe he was her own son.

“Perhaps she didn’t have the support of her own family or she thought she couldn’t have done it by herself. My great gran was a very formidable woman too so it must have been intimidating for a young girl of 19 or 20 to stand up to her.”

According to Donna, 36, her gran neither remarried nor had anymore children, remaining cut off from her son for most of her life.

In 1983 Patsy returned from Dagenham on a visit to Scotland and met her newborn granddaughter, Donna. But she asked not to meet her own son.

“We didn’t hear of her again until 2011 when my dad experienced heart problems.”

After surgeons advised the family to find out the medical history of John’s parents, they sought the help of a friend of Patsy’s who also lives in their hometown of Greenock.

However, the family did not receive any medical records from John’s mum.

There was no more news of Patsy until last Monday when 55-year-old John, a mechanic, bumped into Patsy’s friend while out shopping. She told him his mum died of breast cancer two and a half years ago.

“He was just in shock,” Donna said. “He was in a terrible state.”

Now Donna is desperate for any details which could help her and her dad come to terms with Patsy’s loss.

“My dad has no family left. Did she want to see him before she died, but couldn’t? I just want to make sure she was taken care of.”

“I would love anyone who remembers her to get in touch.”

Donna believes her grandma was born in London in 1942 and has a younger brother, James, and step-brother Peter.

Her father was also called James and was one of ten children. Donna understands that Patsy had uncles who worked at Dagenham’s Ford factories.

Email with information.

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