Woman stolen as a four-year-old from Pontefract reunited with family after 53 years
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Susan Gervaise, born Susan Preece, was just four when she was taken on what was meant to be a two-week holiday with a couple and their two children - but never returned home.
A passport wasn't needed, just her birth certificate and parental permission, and her name was added to the family’s passport.
Susan said: "I was told I was adopted but never really thought much about it - I was happy.
It wasn't until she was 16, the man she had called dad told her the truth - she had been stolen.
"We went to New Zealand and I didn't need a passport to get into the country, but when it came to returning to Australia, I did.
"I applied, but I needed a signature from my mother or father - that's when dad told me they didn’t adopt me, I had been stolen."
Susan had to stay in New Zealand for three years until she was able to apply for an adult passport.
Returning to Australia at 19, Susan married Hamilton and they have three children and four granddaughters.
The man she knew as her father died when she was 21. Her mum when she was just seven.
And although Susan says she was never interested in finding out more about her life in the UK - the search never stopped in Pontefract.
Susan's niece, Emma Mcfadyen, said her family had tried on many occasions to find her.
"It was said that Susan's mother did go out looking for her over the years, but with no luck,” she said.
“After she died, there were so many questions that remained unanswered. Things were different back then. There was no paper trail, no police report.
Susan said: "The difficulty was that because I had dad's surname, then my husband's, they didn't know what name to search.
"It wasn't until I was talking to a woman who was adopted and she asked me, 'Wouldn't you like to know what they (my family) is feeling?’ It was like a lightbulb moment."
Hamilton posted a message on a Pontefract Facebook page and within half-an-hour, Susan's family was found.
"I told them that travellers stole me, but I also married one! I was able to tell them I had such a spoiled life. I was very well looked after.
Susan and Hamilton flew to the UK for a huge family reunion in Pontefract last month.
"It's such a happy ending. We're all still putting the pieces together."
Emma said: "We never thought it would happen . It's been amazing - especially for my mum. She has Parkinsons and dementia, so it's amazing that she's been reunited with her sister before she deteriorates. She's now complete."
Susan said: "It gives a message to anyone who has lost someone that miracles do happen. There is hope."