Since Bryan Simmonds passed away from cancer on June 13, aged 52, Scott Watters from Cornwall Funeral Services in Redruth, Cornwall, has been researching his life.
But because of a tragic incident in his childhood, coupled with his private nature, very little is known about him before 2000.
Scott said: “Finding out the name of a parent or sibling would be worth its weight in gold.
“He was orphaned at a young age, and that is the piece of the jigsaw we desperately want to find.
“He has had a tough life, and we want to recognise him and his history.”
According to Scott, Bryan lost his parents and all his siblings in a car accident on Christmas Eve, likely to be in the late 60s or early 70s in the Littlehampton area.
He was looked after by his aunt on the night of the crash – but it is not clear if she then raised him, Scott said.
He grew up in Littlehampton and likely went to Littlehampton Community School, before becoming a chef, Scott said.
He worked in the Falkland Islands and Germany before settling back in the UK.
He was believed to have lived in the Cornwall area for two decades, with the latter years spent in St Austell. The final period of his life was in a nursing home in the area.
Scott said he was an ‘ardent football fan’ and ‘a very good darts player’. He was not married when he died, and Scott did not believe he had any children.
The information he has so far is based on birth records, and contacting former landlords and employers who have put him in touch with acquaintances.
But due to the current lockdown measures, getting more information from official sources has been slow and the Gazette newspaper archives have been closed to the public – which is why family members or childhood friends could hold the key to giving him a worthy sendoff.
“We want to take this full circle, and we have got very little of his history,” Scott said. “Finding this out would mean an awful lot.”
If you have any information about Bryan, contact Scott at [email protected] or call 01209 211684.