Watch: 99 year-old Veteran meets French woman whose photo he kept in his wallet for almost 80 years
Report by ITV Wales correspondent Dean Thomas-Welch.Watch: The story of 99-year-old Welsh veteran Reg Pye and 92-year-old Huguette reunited in France
A 99-year-old veteran who had a brief encounter with a French girl during the war has been reunited with her almost 80 years later.
When the then-21-year-old Reg Pye's convoy was held up in village in Normandy for the evening in summer of 1944, he spotted a 14-year-old girl staring at him as he was about to eat his evening meal.
The Royal Engineers driver from Burry Port offered the girl his meal of bread and jam, which she took and ran away to eat.
The next morning, Reg found that she had half-filled his mess tin with milk and left a picture of herself with a written message on the back, which he had kept in his wallet for 78 years.
Mr Pye and the girl, a now-92-year-old lady named Huguette, finally had their reunion in France.
They reunited surrounded by their extended families and the help of an interpreter.
Mr Pye showed Huguette the picture he had kept for 78 years, and presented her with another jam sandwich.
“We got older but we’re still the same,” Huguette said.
"In the bleakest of times this bit of human interaction made a huge mark on my life, I have carried her picture in my wallet for 78 years always hoping we might meet again," said Reg.
“The memory of my very brief encounter with this young girl will stay with me forever."
Mr Pye had gone back to Normandy 20 years ago to try to find Huguette, but was unsuccessful.
After hearing Reg's story, a volunteer for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, an organisation run by London black taxi drivers which arranges free trips for veterans, started a campaign to find Huguette.
It was this social media campaign, launched in June this year, that eventually reunited the pair.
Credit: Emma NewtonReg presented Huguette with a can of pilchards, just as he did in their meeting back in 1944.
"This is like a Hollywood blockbuster"
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.”
Mr 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.”