A man whose father died when he was an infant has rediscovered him thanks to an old photo posted by chance in a Buckinghamshire Facebook group.

Lee Williamson’s father, Ian, died at the age of 23 in a car crash when Lee was just two years old. As such, he never knew his father and due to personal reasons, has been left with little opportunity to find out more about him. 

On a whim last week, Lee uploaded one of the few photos of father and son together, pictured in High Wycombe in 1983, to a regional Facebook group in the hopes that a local resident who knew Ian might be able to provide some insight into who he was before his tragic passing.

Lee, 42, who now lives in Co Longford, Ireland, said: “I wasn’t quite sure where (the photo) was taken, but I just knew it was from High Wycombe somewhere, so, I posted it in a Facebook group and lots of people started interacting with it. I had no idea that was going to happen.”

Liz Parry, 62, who used to babysit Lee, happened upon the post and after a few messages back and forth, the pair set up a phone call on Friday (November 24).

Liz, who is now retired and lives in Iver, said that as soon as she saw the photo, she recognised both Lee and his father, who lived next door to her on Hylton Road in High Wycombe for between two and three years in the 1980s.

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She remembered Lee as a “lovely” baby, “always happy and laughing and wanting to play”, adding: “I used to help the family out by babysitting them and we’d spend time together at games evenings or would have drinks together.

“That little baby I used to look after is now in his 40s and has his own children. It’s nice to see how well he is doing now because I wondered what happened to the family when they left (the area) after Ian’s passing.”

Lee said that Liz had helped him to form a larger picture of his father’s personality, describing him as “a bit of a Del Boy character, always looking for a way to make a business”.

He added: “I didn’t really know that he was my father until I was 10 when I stumbled upon a bunch of documents in the attic while playing with a Scalelectrix car toy, and so I didn’t really have any memory of him to be able to build a persona of who my father used to be.

“I have two of my own kids now, so I can tell them stories about their granddad – it just gives you a sense of closure.”

Lee said it was “nice” to see a social media platform such as Facebook lead to something so “positive”.

“Everyone who replied was very encouraging and it showed that High Wycombe is a very nice place to be and the people that lived there had fond memories.”