Written by Staff Writer
11 Feb, 2016 | 4:53 pm
”The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again” , Charles Dickens
This story is going to melt you, as they smiled and hugged, and in those few moments the past 70 years just melted away as wartime sweethearts Norwood “Tommy” Thomas and Joyce Morris were reunited.
A 93 year old World War – 2 veteran reunited with his wartime sweetheart more than 70 years after they last said goodbye.
Thomas was a 21-year-old paratrooper when he met British girl Joyce Morris in London just before D-Day.
They dated for a few months before the war intervened and saw Mr Thomas sent to Normandy.
They swapped letters for a time and in one Mr Thomas asked Ms Morris to move to the US to be his wife but she declined, saying she had just begun training as a nurse.
Young Joyce misunderstood his letter somehow and thought he had fallen in love with someone else. She stopped writing and both she and Mr Thomas eventually married other people.
Mr Thomas’ wife died in 2001 and Ms Morris moved to Australia with her new husband but their marriage ended in divorce after 30 years. Both have children.
However the pair reconnected recently over the internet, setting in train a reunion more than seven decades in the making.
After the discovery of his name in an article about D-Day in a newspaper in Virginia, the two made contact and spoke on Skype, with the help of their children.
Mr Thomas’s local newspaper The Virginian-Pilot heard of the story and a reader started a campaign to send him from his home in Virginia Beach to Australia to meet his long-lost sweetheart again.
Donations flowed in and Air New Zealand donated first class airfares for Mr Thomas and his son Steve, who lives with his father and looks after him.
As they embarked on a 10,500-mile journey Mr Thomas told The Virginian-Pilot: “I’d rather die travelling to Australia than live sitting around at home wondering ‘what if?’
“I’m just looking forward to seeing her smile” and “giving her a squeeze”.
Mr Thomas told Channel 10: “This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me.”
Upon meeting, the two could not hide their excitement as they hugged and kissed each other and Morris could be heard saying to Thomas: “we are going to have a wonderful fortnight together.”
Mr Thomas was expected to stay in Adelaide for two weeks, allowing the couple to spend Valentine’s Day together.
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