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Next of kin located!

Malcolm McDonald of Cowplain, Waterlooville, was delighted and surprised to receive a letter from Finder Guru regarding a photograph of his Father James McDonald. James is featured in a remarkable album in which 150 Commonwealth Servicemen feature. The album was compiled by a the Casey Family in New York during WW2.

The notes on the photograph contained the postal address of James McDonalds Mother, who at the time was in Wymering, Cosham, Portsmouth. Despite this address being from the 1940’s, Finder Guru were soon able to locate his next of kin.

The notes on the photograph also contained some information about James, which makes it all the more remarkable.

“Anti-aircraft gunner on HMS Glasgow. Difficult to understand at first but very nice after you know him. Comes from a large family. Father a sailor- was on HMS Effingham when it went down off Norway. Now on HMS Oribi. Likes swimming and sailing. Peter (  one of the Casey children) is his favourite. Regular Navy. Aged 17”

We have sent a copy of the photograph and notes to Malcolm McDonald which he has shared with family. He has also shared a wonderful picture with us of the moment his Father returned home. The look on the faces of James and his Sister is one of absolute joy.


Malcolm also sent us a photo of his Grandfather, who was on the HMS Effingham.



Notes from his Son Malcolm and Granddaughter Carly

James Peter McDonald is my Father. He joined the Royal Navy aged 16 in 1938 and served until 1955. He was on many ships during that time, and he did write some notes about it.

He was on the HMS Glasgow from July 1940 to Oct 1942, which was damaged by torpedo in Dec 1940 but remained serviceable. It finally went for repairs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard New York in May 1942. He went on to serve on the HMS Oribi escorting the Arctic and North Atlantic convoys.

My Grandad was on the HMS Effingham when sunk off Norway May 1940. 

We have very few photographs of my Father from that time, so you can imagine how great it was to get your letter. When you sent the photograph I showed my Daughter Carly, she thinks it is amazing. Thank you so very much Nicola, thank you for getting him back to us.

Malcolm- Portsmouth


Carly says

Grandad died when I was only 13. There are so many things I wish I could have asked him, and so much I didn’t know. You sending the picture and information opened up a lot of conversation and research in my family and I’ve learnt so much.
Thank you. I’m so proud of what grandad did.
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