Veterans

Army Veterans Reunite By Chance At Christmas Party After 60 Years

John Halloran and John Stacey shared an emotional reunion in Cardiff.

Two army veterans who had not seen each other for 60 years have been reunited at a Christmas party in Wales.

Eighty-three year old John Stacey and 81 year old John Halloran were best friends and served together in the Welch Regiment during a conflict between Greek Cypriot guerrillas and the British Army.

They lost touch, however, only to bump into each other at the Royal British Legion Club in Whitchurch, Cardiff on 9 December.

Mr Stacey, diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years ago, was attending an event for veterans suffering from dementia.

Mr Halloran was walking past on his return from a bar, and became inquisitive about the gathering.

Roger Lees, who supports Mr Stacey, immediately set up the reunion after hearing Mr Halloran's stories of service.

Mr Lees says it was emotional, when Mr Stacey recognised his old friend despite memory problems.

"Halloran tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around and he said 'Blimey O'Riley'.

"They sat down holding hands. It was like they didn't want to be parted.

"They started hugging and that was the most beautiful thing I'd seen, as an ex soldier talking."

Mr Stacey's wife, Judy Stacey, 76, said: "I was surprised he remembered John. I thought it was wonderful.

"It was like an early Christmas present. It was lovely."

Cover image: (Left to right): Army veterans John Halloran and John Stacey reunited in Cardiff after 60 years (Picture: PA).