Long Lost Family fans in tears at 'most heart wrenching episode' as man banished to Australia has reunion after 70 years

LONG Lost Family fans were left struggling after what they dubbed the "most heart wrenching episode yet."

ITV viewers tuned into the hugely emotional series, fronted by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, for the "tough" story of Dorian Reece.

He told how he was sent off to Australia at the age of eight, where he endured horrid conditions in a boys home.

He was abused by those older than him and permanently convinced he was either an orphan, or unwanted child.

In fact, his mother was forced to hand him over to authorities after she gave birth out of wedlock – despite his father's please that he could take care of him.

Dorian was one of thousands of children taken from the UK between the 1920s and 1970s as part of the child migrant programme, with the promise of a better life.


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They were selected from England's "orphan and waif class" but many, including Dorian, met with worse conditions and awful abuse.

He was sent to two residential colleges run by the Christian Brothers, with the second establishment in Perth a place where he was routinely beaten.

Opening up on his harrowing experience on Long Lost Family, he said: "Beatings, the beatings were the thing. The one that always comes to mind was a fellow by the name of Mowen.

“He would be walking down the L-shaped veranda with a concrete floor and he had a limp, you’d hear him coming, you’d hear clip, clop, bang.

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“The bang was the cane that was hitting the side of his black habit.

“You’ve got 30 boys in the classroom and you can feel the atmosphere, some of the boys are literally urinating with fear.”

Those watching at home struggled to digest the trauma, with one taking to Twitter to write: "Seems incredible that such unimaginable cruelty happened to children in living memory with the tacit approval of the UK and Australian authorities #longlostfamily

Another posted: "#longlostfamily The most heart wrenching episode yet! I’m appalled and disgusted what happened to these children and the Christian Brothers regret does not cut it! 😭😭😭."

A third commented: "longlostfamily #ShippedtoAustralia That was emotional," as another surmised: "Tough watch. How can people be so cruel 💔#longlostfamily."

One added: "A moving #longlostfamily special tonight. So sad to hear of the harrowing ordeals so many went through, but great to see them get the answers and some reunions."

Many were not familiar with the procedures implemented a century ago, and one viewer added: "I was never aware of the treatment to send those poor boys to Australia. The pain suffered, cruelty and sexual abuse. How on earth was it ever allowed to happen. #longlostfamily."

Another mused: "Heartbreaking to hear about what Dorian and Kevin and Rex went through. I’m so glad Dorian had the chance to meet members of his family and to know his father tried to get him back. So lovely he was able to learn bowls and have a physical connection! ❤️ #longlostfamily."

Meanwhile, one rounded off with the words: "Just incredible, awful, heartbreaking #LongLostFamily."

Yet it was finally a happy ending for Dorian, who met his long lost family after 75 years.

He met his British niece Anne, his closest relative to his father, and her son Pete in tear-jerking scenes.

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As they met and shared stories, Dorian said: "I thought I’d be able to compose myself, but… I was a bit apprehensive but when I got that hug, I felt so much more at ease.

“You want to know where you’ve come from and who your family are. Finding my father’s family, it’s filled a really big gap. It does feel good."

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