SEARCH: Help find old school pal

I am hoping that you might be able to assist me in locating David Chapman, who was my best friend at school in Durban, South Africa, in the 1960s.

Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 05:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 15:52 pm

I realise it is a long shot, but his family had deep roots in your area.

His father was David Steel Chapman, born October 3, 1919, in Northumbria. He died on June 30, 1997, in Ashington.

He was a surgeon of great repute, having qualified at Durham University, worked in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the war, and worked in the UK and as professor of surgery at the Medical School in Durban, South Africa.

This was followed by working as a missionary surgeon in Nongoma, Natal, before returning to Ashington in 1975, where he worked at the local hospital until his retirement.

He was married to Mary, nee Bromley, in 1945, and I think she predeceased him by a few months.

They had three children, Christine, born around 1946, who became an English lecturer; Catherine, born around 1949, a social worker; and David, born in 1952 – all in the Northumbria region.

I am writing in the hope that perhaps one or more of the children might have inherited the family home and still be known in the area.

David returned to the UK in 1970 to work, but I am unsure what he did.

He sent me a letter prior to his departure from South Africa on a Union Castle Liner to ask that I meet him in Cape Town, where I was at university, but I had an exam that day and have wondered what happened to him ever since.

I have now retired, inspired by his dad to be in the medical line, and will be in the UK in June and July following the one day World Cup Cricket. Hence, I have put this request in writing.

If someone there knows of this family, or David in particular, please let me know.

Richard Gale

New Zealand