Dan was my younger brother by eleven months. We were born in Singapore where
our parents met after the war. Dan was born with a clubfoot, which meant that he
needed surgery as a child, and we had to return to the UK where our younger
sister Jane was born. In all, Dan needed nine operations on his legs as a child,
but this never prevented him enjoying life. He even played scrum half in our
school rugby team in Wales.
Although bright, academic life bored Dan. He was more practically inclined and loved working with wood and metal. He built his own kayak at the age of 16 and used it on the river Usk in Gwent. After school he attended agricultural college in the town of Usk and I can still remember seeing him representing the college on a TV quiz as a teenager.
After leaving college, he travelled to Denmark to get some practical experience in farming. He quickly learned Danish and after a couple of years moved on to become a sales rep for a British company in Scandinavia. Dan was a gregarious guy and when he returned to the UK he took a job as a travel guide for foreign tourists travelling around Britain.
In his late twenties he married Iris, a Scottish girl from Perth and they set up home in Norwood south London and quite soon they had two young children, Sarah and Daniel. It was here that he first began work in the field of private investigations. He had a phenomenal memory for small details and could remember things like car registrations for years. After several years he started his own business, initially working from home. He still maintained his passion for working with his hands and bought an old Austin Healy 3000 sports car, which he spent several years restoring. Over the next few years he bought several classic cars and repaired and rebuilt them. Along with watching rugby this was his hobby and relaxation.
Although we went our separate ways as adults, we always remained close. The fact that wed shared a room for fifteen years, played and fought together, had created a strong bond between us. I always knew that in a difficult situation, he’d be the man I could turn to for help. When he was murdered, and after visiting the incident room in Sydenham the following day, I knew intuitively that something was going very badly wrong. I knew that we would have to deal with it. I also know that if I had been murdered my brother would have done exactly the same for me.