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Reunited WWII Lovers To Hug It Out After 70 Years

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Warning: This story will make your Happn romance pale in comparison.

For all the rep that the Internet gets for being a blackhole into which all chivalry and romance has tripped, it does have the power to bring people together in a truly profound way. And before you stop reading this sentimental mush, you need to hear the full story, because it’s quite frankly, the stuff of fairytales.

After 70 years of separation and no contact whatsoever, two former World War II lovers are set to meet up – all thanks to the Internet. Norwood Thomas met "a pretty little thing" named Joyce Durrant near London in 1944 when he was just 21 years old and the two became inseparable.

However, Norwood, a member of the U.S. army's 101st Airborne Division was just months away from heading off to France and their time was cut short when he went to fight in the Allied invasion of Normandy during D-Day. Despite the romance being short-lived, the veteran told CBS that it was long enough for him "to decide that this is a girl that I want to marry and want to live with.”

Despite Norwood's numerous attempts to contact his sweetheart on his return home to Virginia, he was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Joyce, was training to become a nurse at the time – in order to join him in the U.S. and become his wife. Thomas, aged 93, had totally lost touch with Joyce, now 88, by the time the war ended and he headed back to America. She, meanwhile, moved to Australia.

Time passed and Norwood moved on and married another woman, who passed away in 2001 and whom he described in an interview with CBS as "a good woman, who helped my mixed-up head get straight.” Fast forward to 2016 and after years of reminiscing about his lost English lover, little did he know that she was doing the same.

Joyce, who is now single and living in Australia, called on her son Rob who Googled "Norwood Thomas, 101st Airborne” at her bequest. Low and behold: An online news article mentioning the D-Day paratrooper appeared. The journalist who had penned the piece put Rob in touch with his mother's wartime boyfriend and, on November the 6th 2015, the pair Skyped. Their conversation lasted two hours, and they shared pictures they had kept of one another after all of that time.

"I remember you were walking with me one day, and the girls coming this way all had a silly look on their faces," Joyce reportedly said to Norwood during their chat. "Then I look sideways, and you're winking at them!""Not me! I would never wink at another girl," he replied, laughing. "You were such a scallywag, you," shot back Joyce, also laughing.

Norwood told Joyce that he just wished he could hold her: "The only one big problem is, I can't take you in my arms and give you a squeeze. What would you do if I could give you a little squeeze?""Oh, it would be lovely," she said. "We could always do with a hug, can't we? Whatever age we are.”

If you’re already in tears, maybe now would be time to get some air, because we’re coming to the really good bit. One woman in Virginia Beach, where Thomas lives, was so taken with the story that she contacted Norwood and asked for his permission to set up a fundraising campaign in his name, in order to send him to Australia, to be reunited with Joyce.

"The airline confirmed this week that it had made arrangements to send Thomas and his caretaker son, Steve, to Adelaide, Australia, next month," reports The Virginian-Pilot. "They'll fly first class, free of charge.”

We await the Hollywood film adaptation with baited breath, and a hanky.
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