Sat in the office thinking of residents that would have interesting stories to share, I received an email from Heather at reception saying Jeremiah Dunne of William Lench Court wished to speak to me. Since his apartment is close I went to see what he wanted. Upon arrival he invited me in and we sat down to chat, he told me the story of his life in which he was escorted by the Russian military just before the Cold War and he met his real family by chance. Take a look below:

I was born in Digbeth, the Irish Quarter of Birmingham which was about one hundred yards from the Bullring. At the time there were many bomb craters all around the city, we were very poor and at that time you had to pay for a doctor since the NHS was in its infancy. That was 1949 and I was adopted at the age of two, so luckily I escaped the poverty of Raye street, digbeth. I won won a place at the newly reopened Blue Coat School in Harbourne, there were many unforgettable teachers there, it was at that school I became interested in Art and realised I could paint.

My adopted farther died of stomach cancer when I was very young and my adopted mother married again, meaning that my surname changed for a third time, causing me to have an identity crisis. I sat six O-Level GCEs on the Oxford board and managed to pass all of them, afterwards I stayed on to study A-Level Art and History (from French Revolution to the Treaty of Versailles). 

After that I didn't want to stay at home, so I joined the Army, the Staffordshire Regiment because my father was in the same regiment (he joined underage at sixteen or seventeen like most at the time) and I trained at Whittington Barracks, the basic training was extremely tough but by God I was fit. I was posted at barracks just underneath Dover Castle for about six months and were then sent to West Berlin, we were escorted by Russian MiGs for the last hundred miles, it was basically them showing their muscles and who was boss. We were one hundred miles behind "The Iron Curtain" and had no plane support, only helicopters, this was in 1967, one year before the Cold War started heating up.

Moving onto how I met my real family, after leaving the army I went to train as a teach at St Peter's College, Saltley but found that I wasn't ready to be in the teaching system. I had an interview in Digbeth, on the street where I lived and went up to the college bar after it, I met my girlfriend at the time and two young women. I was speaking with the woman I knew named Liz and she asked "How did your interview go?", I replied "It was ok but it was strange walking down Raye street since I was born there". The other woman Penny cut in saying "You were born on Raye street?", I told her that I was adopted and she asked me if I knew of two families that lived there and funnily enough, the second family name was mine, Dunne! She said "You're Jerry aren't you? Jeremiah.", I went as white as a sheet and replied "How did you know?", "I've been going out with your brother for the last two years, his name is Michael. Would you like to meet him?". It was on a plate so of course I said yes, Liz later picked me up from where I lived and took me to an underground bar in the city centre, we chose a spot in sight of the staircase. When he walked down the stairs I knew him instantly, we looked so alike, we shook hands, went to talk at the bar and swapped stories. Eventually I also went on to meet my two sisters in a night club, my eldest brother and my mother inside her family home.

        Jeremiah Dunne - William Lench Court resident