Woman seeks long lost relatives who may be in Dagenham

Della and Derek Brooks

Della Brooks pictured with her father Derek in the late 1970s. - Credit: Della Brooks

A woman is appealing for help to find half brothers who she has never met.

Della Brooks, who lives in New South Wales, Australia, is hoping to find two half brothers who she believes may be in Dagenham.

She said: "It would mean a lot to me to find these two men. Just even to know who they are. It feels weird to know that I carry two half brothers around in my mind.

"When I do make it over to the UK, I just want to meet them. After all, they are family."

After beating skin cancer, the 59-year-old's outlook on life changed completely with the realisation of how important it is to seize the moment.

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"Life is so very short and once you have a life changing event happen in life your whole way of thinking changes," she said.

Derek Brooks

Derek ran the Barge Aground pub in Barking before moving to the Royal George in Euston. - Credit: Della Brooks

Della's father, Derek Brooks emigrated to England on board the Angelina Laura cruise ship in 1968 when Della was six-years-old, leaving the family in Australia.

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Derek went on to run the Barge Aground pub in Broadway, Barking, some time in the late 1970s to early 80s.

During that time, he returned Down Under for a holiday and met Della again when she was 17, but they lost touch afterwards.

The only photo Della has with the two of them together is from a boat ride during that visit.

She explained that while running the Barge Aground, Derek struck up a relationship with a barmaid which led to the birth of her half brothers.

Della believes they lived in Dagenham, having heard Derek visited the area to deliver maintenance payments to the boys' mother.

The publican later moved on from the Barge Aground to run the Royal George pub in Euston.

"I have to be honest, I've never tried to make contact before, simply because I never ever thought I would make it over to England and that they would never make it here either," Della said.

But she has saved the money to pay for a trip to England and is hoping to meet her long lost relatives, one of whom she believes is called James.

"If they wish to not answer I will honour what they choose," Della said. "If this [story] could meet many people then perhaps I have a chance of finding them.

"A friend may read it or their mum. I have had a DNA test, but unless one of them has one, it's possible I will never find them," she added.

Email jonathan.king@archant.co.uk if you can help.

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