Family appeal to help fill blanks in Fife dad's missing childhood in region

James and Eric meet for the first time (Pic: Submitted)James and Eric meet for the first time (Pic: Submitted)
James and Eric meet for the first time (Pic: Submitted)
The Fife Herald and St Andrews Citizen has received a call for help in trying to trace down a missing childhood for a man brought up in the area.

James Speed was born on August 10 1934 in Thornton to a very young mother, Jean Speed, born December 24, 1918.

Cahrol Speed wrote to the paper in the hope we could print an appeal to find the missing chunks of her dad’s childhood, that they themselves have not been able to trace.

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Cahrol told us: “Dad had never known any family until my research. Decades later, I discovered a younger sibling, Eric Williamson now living in Cupar. They met in person just a few weeks back. This was a an emotional moment to treasure.

"We have managed to fill in a lot of the holes in dad's childhood but can't find any information as to whose care he was in from birth to school age.

“We have found he had holidayed with Miss Isabel M Scott Moncrieff at the castle in Elie. She was an honorary secretary of Fife Children's Homes. The next step we found was that he was in a children's home in Leven before being admitted to the Quarriers Orphanage between November 18, 1942 and October 19, 1949, when his legal guardian during that period was William Wilson, Chief Public Assistance Officer at what was then Fife County Council.

"Dad recalls being with foster parents Jock and Jean Scott at Back Row Springfield but they had to move house when the home was bomb damaged in the Second World War. They then moved to the railway home at the Springfield boom gates. He was a junior assistant to Susan M Beddie after his time at the orphanage, Susan was a Fife Children's Officer and Scottish Secretary to the Advisory Council of Childcare.

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"I am now searching for any information on dad’s life from birth to school age. "Anything you think might help an old man sleep better and find a few missing chunks of his childhood would be much appreciated.”

If you have any information that may help, please forward to: [email protected] and we’ll pass it on.

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