TWO men who wrote a book about the wartime letters between a mother and her four sons have succeeded in tracking down family members thanks to the Gazette.
Simon Muggleton, who wrote the book with Norman Franks, wanted to trace remaining family members to tell them about the book Raw Courage.
It is about Irene Raw, from Ealing and her sons, who all trained as pilots in the RAF during the Second World War. The letters, incredibly, were found in a junk shop in Camberwell years ago, by a friend of Simon.
He said: " As result of an article in the Gazette I made contact with the wife and daughter of the youngest Raw brother and have made arrangements to meet up later this month in Cheltenham.
"I am delighted. She was stunned and sounded a bit nervous. She doesn't want to talk about it to anyone yet, until we have met."
The family lived in Creffield Road in 1928, moving to Mount Park Crescent in 1931 and finally to Delamere Road in 1947. The boys attended Hillsborough Prep School in Creffield Road, before going to Wellington Boarding School in Somerset. They all joined the RAF and became pilots.
Simon, 63, who lives in Sussex, started visiting Ealing to research his book. He said:" About 15 years ago, a leather suitcase containing bundles of handwritten and typed official letters, along with photos and badges, were found in a junk shop in Camberwell, by a friend of mine, Martin Smith. Some of the handwritten letters had embossed headed address's from various RAF stations such as Tangmere and Manston. Most of the letters were written during WW2 although there were some written pre and post-war.
"These letters eventually came my way and I started to read through them. It became evident that they were an exchange between a mother (Mrs Irene Raw from Ealing) and her four sons who trained as pilots in the RAF. The letters covered their calling -up and training, their day to day life during the war, and their girlfriends, who eventually became their wives (two of the brothers marrying two sisters on the same day in Ealing), with three of them being killed in action.
"I had the letters since the early 1990s but they lay dormant until last year when I talked to Norman about them. He took one look and thought what a fantastic story they would make. As we've just launched the book I wanted to make contact with the remaining family members/ friends to tell them about it. I am so excited about meeting them."