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Siblings cling to each other after 80 years of separation and never want to let go

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Bill and Beryl were forced apart as children, but they never gave up hope that they’d be reunited. It took eight decades for that emotional day to finally come.

The story of senior siblings reuniting after being separated for 80 years is the most heartwarming story you’ll see on the internet this week.

You’re going to need tissues for this story folks. Like, a lot of tissues.

This story is so powerful that even Australian ABC News 24 morning show host Joe O’Brien broke down in tears while reporting on the story on air.

The story begins with a torpedoed ship, the SS Iron Crown, that was attacked by the Japanese about 100 kilometers off the south coast of Victoria, Australia in 1942.

The shipwreck took Frank Stewart’s life, who was 64 at the time, along with 38 others.

This left Stewart’s two young children, Bill and Beryl, as orphans since their mother had passed away a few years prior.

The kids were already living at an orphanage while their father, who joined the merchant navy after his wife passed, was at sea.

After their father’s death, Bill was sent to the Boys’ Home in Adelaide, while his sister was adopted by a family.

Siblings were often separated during this time because it was believed that children needed a “clean break” from their biological families when adopted.

Daily Mail reports that authorities actually blocked them from contacting one another.

“The two of us put our arms around each other and cried our eyes out. I was told to leave the room and I never saw Beryl again,” Bill tearfully recalls to ABC News Australia.

Both Bill and Beryl always dreamed that they would one day be reunited.

“The two of us were looking for one another but didn’t get any help from the orphanage,” Bill said. “I would go back to Adelaide every year and look for Beryl.”

Beryl said she spent years trying to track her brother down but could never find any details.

“I gave up and started thinking perhaps he’s dead, but in my mind, I always thought one day we would find one another,” Beryl shared with ABC.

Eight decades passed before the two would find each other again.

Their reunion was spurred when a memorial was help after the location of the sunken SS Iron Crown was discovered.

More than 50 relatives of those who perished on the ship attended the event.

Bill was put in contact with a distant relative Kylie Watson who attended the memorial.

She also just happened to be an amateur researcher helping people to find their lost family members.

She immediately started searching for Beryl, who was now named Beryl Johnson, and put out an ad in the Sunday Mail edition of The Advertiser.

Beryl read the ad and contacted Watson.

Beryl says she was moved to tears when she learned that her brother was alive.

“I’ve regained my life now, which used to be full of longing and wanting,” she said.

Bill and Beryl jumped on the phone pretty quickly followed by an in-person meeting.

After the pandemic separated them for 18 months, they spent three whole weeks together. Now they have a chat on the phone every morning at 8 a.m.

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