Isle of Wight County PressThe Isle of Wight County Press, published weekly, features a column “Looking Back”.
In June 1986 under the heading “100 Years Ago” they reprinted the following item from:
The County Press of June 5th 1886
The village of St Helens was thrown into a state of considerable excitement on Wednesday evening caused by the unexpected return of a very old villager. John Calloway, who had been absent for some 40 years and had been given up for dead.
His wife and most of the children are now dead and he is staying with his daughter Mrs Warder.
Publication of this item ellicited a response on 27th June 1986 published in letters to the Editor, as follows:
I refer to the homecoming of John Calloway who returned home to St Helens after being away for 40 years. The story had been told to me in detail years before, by my husband′s mother. She was in her 93rd. year in 1961, and was staying with us at Brookfield Farm, Porchfield, IoW.
Her mother a Mrs. Clarke of Cowes IoW was related to the Calloways.
I am very grateful to John Radford for this interesting news story.
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©Lesley Haigh 2008