'I have carried her picture in my wallet for 78 years always hoping we might meet again,' said 99-year-old Pye.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 2, 2023. It has since been updated.
Some lovers' reunions just melt your heart and this is one of them. A 99-year-old veteran who met a French girl during a war almost 80 years ago reunited with her in December 2022. In the summer of 1944, then 21-year-old Reg Pye was in a village in Normandy for the evening. He saw a 14-year-old girl looking at him while he was about to eat his evening meal. Pye, then the Royal Engineers driver from Burry Post, gave the girl his meal of bread and jam. She took it and ran away to eat, as reported by ITV.
The next morning, Pye found that his mess tin was half-filled with milk and she had left a picture of herself with a written note on the back. He took the picture and kept it in his wallet since then. According to Pye, that one human interaction left a "huge mark" on his life. "I have carried her picture in my wallet for 78 years, always hoping we might meet again," said Reg.
He added, “The memory of my very brief encounter with this young girl will stay with me forever." Pye even visited Normandy 20 years ago in search of Huguette, but he couldn't find her. A volunteer for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans came to know about Reg's story and initiated a campaign to find Huguette. It started in June 2022 and they were able to reunite the duo in just a few months.
In December, he met Huguette, who is now a 92-year-old woman. They had a reunion in France. They reunited surrounded by their extended families and an interpreter who helped them. Pye showed her the picture he had kept in his wallet and offered her another jam and sandwich. "We got older, but we're still the same," Huguette said. The charity volunteer, Paul Cook, said, "There are no words to describe how elated I am that Reg has found Huguette, this is like a Hollywood blockbuster and I wouldn't be surprised if this beautiful story was made into a film." For almost 80 years, Reg Pye had her photograph in his wallet. Pye added, "I cannot believe that she has finally been found and I wish to thank everyone, including our friend Emma, our cab driver Paul and the Taxi Charity's French adviser Nathalie Varniere, who have helped to make my dream come true."
For almost 80 years, Reg Pye had her photograph in his wallet.— Genevra Charsley (@FlandersBTour) November 14, 2022
Huguette left the picture in Reg's van as thanks for sharing a jam sandwich with her while he waited to advance into France as World War Two raged:https://t.co/QuT0DSZ93B
In another beautiful story about a reunion, immigrants Lena and Yolanda reunited 75 years after they first met as young girls during a 14-day ocean crossing. Both of them were emigrating with their Italian families to the United States in 1947. They met while boarding the Saturnia, a ship sailing toward America's Ellis Island. They became really good friends on the journey. Decades later, when Lena's son Steve began researching the transatlantic voyage, she immediately remembered her friend. Steve found the ship's manifest online, which helped them to track Lena's friend. Steve tried really hard to track down Yolanda and she lived nearly 2.5 hours away from her friend.
Steve got her number and left a message on her answering machine that her childhood sailing friend wanted to get in touch with her. Although, Covid-19 and other obstacles delayed their meeting. However, they still managed to meet at Lena's house in Meadville, Pennsylvania. "They were celebrating a momentary friendship that has lasted a lifetime," said Steve.