Former MP Syd Rapson, with his mother, Doris (nee Fisher), in 2003, with whom he was reunited after being adopted as a baby.
ISLANDERS REUNITEDFrom Syd Rapson, 79 Washbrook Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 3SB:
I WAS born at 3 Manor Road, Lake, in 1942. My mother was Doris Rapson (nee Fisher) and my father was Sidney A. E. Rapson.
My father was killed during the Second World War when I was three months old and my mother was left a widow at the young age of 18 with a baby and living in poor circumstances.
Later, when I was four, I was adopted by my late father’s parents, Lily and Sidney Rufus John Rapson, and brought up in Portsmouth in my late father’s family home.
I did not know my real mother and decided to wait until my adoptive parents had passed away before trying to be reunited with her.
I eventually traced her to Wales and met my two half-brothers and a half-sister.
My mother died in March 2006, aged 82. Sadly, she did not say anything at all about my early life with her and there are no photos.
Recently, I heard my mother had another son, born after me in 1944, also in Lake. His name is James Frederick Marder Rapson and I am trying to find him.
I understand he was also adopted but I cannot find out more. I’m assuming he still lives on the IW but may have an adopted surname.
My civic achievements are quite notable, especially as I came from a poor family in Lake and am so proud of my roots deep in the Island.
I was awarded the British Empire Medal by the Queen in 1984 for my work in the Ministry of Defence.
I was an elected city councillor from 1971 until 1997 and also a Hampshire County Councillor. I became Lord Mayor of Portsmouth in 1990/91 and a Freeman of the City of London in 1991.
In 1997, I was elected to Parliament, achieving a post as a parliamentary private secretary for the Ministry of Defence team in Tony Blair’s government and retired in 2005. I am now an honorary alderman for the City of Portsmouth.