A GWENT GRANDMOTHER has spoken of her shock at finding out she was a GI baby – with a brother she didn't know existed living nearby.

Wendy James, who was adopted, is now looking forward to celebrating her 70th birthday and Christmas with her newly-discovered family.

GI babies, as they are colloquially known, are the children of US servicemen who were serving overseas.

Mrs James’ father had been stationed in Britain shortly after the end of the Second World War.

She said: “My mum had had a wartime fling with the US serviceman and, when I was born, I was given up for adoption.

“When my mother died there was a right humdinger over me.

“My brother was told about me by our mother, but to not bother ever looking for me as I’d been taken over to the USA by my father."

Mrs James, who lives in Tutshill, Chepstow, said she had “a wonderful upbringing” with her adoptive parents, but had, urged on by daughter Tracy, 51, who also lives in Chepstow, spent a lifetime trawling through records in an attempt to trace her original roots.

Drawing a blank, she turned to a clairvoyant in desperation.

Mrs James said: “I am a sceptic but as soon as I walked in the clairvoyant said 'you’re looking for adoption papers'.

“She the said ‘you have a brother, in London or Gloucester’.”

Days later, with the help of a professional researcher, it was confirmed the mother-of-two had a half-brother, called John, who lives in Bridgewater, Somerset.

He revealed she was a GI baby.

“It was truly amazing after all this time not knowing to find, in a matter of days, that not only did I have a brother but that my dad was an American GI," Mrs James added.

“To say I was gobsmacked to find out I was a GI baby is to put it mildly.

“John’s thrilled he has a sister and I am equally excited at having a brother and a whole collection of new relatives.

“We had a reunion earlier this year.

“You would have thought we’d known each other from the year dot.

“My seventieth birthday and this Christmas will be absolutely incredible now I know a bit more about who I am and where I’m from.

“I have all these new relatives too, including two ‘new’ nephews, a great-niece and nephew and lots of cousins.”

Mrs James says she knows little more about who her father was though.

“Sadly, it is unlikely that I will find out who my dad actually was," she added.