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Plea for help in finding uncle who vanished 40 years ago

Do you know where Kevin Williams is?

22 January, 2018 — By Robbie Harb

Missing? Kevin Williams

THE nephew of a man who has not been in touch with his family for more than 40 years has appealed for help in finding him after being given new hope that he is still alive.

David Williams is searching for his uncle Kevin, whose last contact was a postcard sent from Sudan in 1976. It did not say what he was doing there and only that he hoped to return to his home in Guilford Street, near Russell Square, Bloomsbury, within six weeks and then head to see his relatives in Ireland.

After not hearing from him again, David’s relatives assumed he had died until a mourner at a family funeral said they had seen him alive.

The final airmail messages

“My father died in August 2012,” said David. “A few days after, a member of my extended family was having lunch with some colleagues in Wexford, talking about my father’s funeral that had just been on. And a work colleague across the table said, ‘Oh yeah, I met his brother in London a few years ago’.”

This information came as a shock and sparked a search to find Kevin – whom David has never met – which has included leads to Highgate, where it is now believed he may have been living in the early 2000s.

“He wasn’t particularly a home bird, he wouldn’t have been coming back to Ireland every few months,” said David. “I think he was quite happy away from home. But he never gave any indication that he would break contact with his family, and there was no big falling out.” He said he was continuing the search – which includes an online appeal for help – on behalf of some of his other relatives.

Kevin had grown up in Taghmon, Wexford, and later moved to Dublin and then London in the 1960s where he joined the British Merchant Navy, travelling the world as a ship steward.

He had a tattoo of a ship and the words “Homeward Bound” on his wrist at this time. When he went missing, he was travelling and had visited Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, before arriving in Africa.

The last picture of Kevin Williams his family have of him

“The ideal would be that they’d be able to meet him again,” said David. “His eldest brother is going to be 80 years old this year. “I know his [Kevin’s] two remaining brothers and sister would dearly like to see him again and even speak to him. They miss him, especially my uncle Brian, who grew up looking up to him. He really misses him.”

David added: “If he chooses to retain his privacy, then that’s something we’d have to respect. The issue for us is that we just don’t know. There are questions there at the moment, but if he made contact in some way and said he was alive and well, that would at least be an answer for us.”

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