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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Twins reunited after decades apart
Wendy Brooks and John Bennett
Wendy Brooks and twin John Bennett together again
A woman who was separated from her twin brother 62 years ago has beaten incredible odds to track him down.

Wendy Brooks traced John Bennett from her home in America via the internet.

Mr Bennett, 62, who lives near Norwich, did not even know he had a twin until he was in his 40s.

The pair finally met in Oklahoma where Mrs Books now lives.

Brick wall

The twins were dumped in a cardboard box at the outbreak of the Second World War by their single mother Phyllis Legge, then aged 34.

There is absolutely no lottery win in the world that comes close to what I felt when I saw her

John Bennett

They were just six weeks old and were left on the doorstep of Annie and Albert Finch.

Soon after they were separated.

Mrs Brooks stayed with the Finch family and Mr Bennett was adopted by a family in Ipswich.

'Total shock'

Mrs Brooks, who knew she had a twin, married a GI in 1956 and moved to Oklahoma when she was 19.

Mr Bennett was never told about his family background and only found out he had a twin when he began digging into his history.

He said: "In 1982 social services said it was possible I might have a twin sister living in America.

"It was a total shock. I thought they must have got it wrong and never really believed it until I finally saw her."

'Terrible emptiness'

The chicken farm manager abandoned an earlier search after his wife had a stroke and then developed multiple sclerosis.

He heard nothing until he received a letter from Barnardos on 15 December last year.

He said: "Apparently Wendy had tracked me down on the internet and was trying to get hold of me.

"When I first spoke to her a few days later I could not believe it.

"I grew up with a terrible emptiness, always wondering where I came from."

He added: "There is absolutely no lottery win in the world that comes close to what I felt when I saw her."

Neither twin knows what happened to their mother, who gave birth in Swindon Road, Cheltenham or their father, whose name does not appear on the birth certificate.

Mr Bennett hopes to return to the US in November and the pair hope to track down three younger half-sisters born to their mother.

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