THE son of Newport stalwart and former leader of the council Aubrey Hames is hoping to track down past acquaintances who could shed light on his dad’s past.

Aubrey Hames, born in Sebastopol in 1923, rose to local fame as leader of Newport Borough Council in the 1970s and 1980s, and quickly earned a reputation for his integrity and honesty.

Now his son, Dominic Hames, is researching and writing a book on his father – the man known for his famous moustache – but has been left with two gaps in his knowledge.

Despite so far having dedicated four years on the project, Dominic said he has yet been unable to track down anybody who knew his father as a child in Griffithstown or as a young adult in the 1950s.

Mr Hames will be giving a talk on his father to the Newport History Society on Wednesday, January 7, in a bid to urge past acquaintances to come forward.

Thanks to diary entries, public records and people who knew his father, Mr Hames has so far pieced together Aubrey’s life from a teenager in the early 40s, his role in the war and as a young man in the late 40s.

Mr Hames discovered how his father had married sweetheart Connie Williams and had a daughter, Carole, who was born with disabilities and sadly later died.

In an astonishing twist, Mr Hames managed to find the woman who was in the neighbouring hospital bed where Aubrey’s daughter Carole was born – before later tracking down Connie and her family.

Appeals in army magazines meant Mr Hames was able to find four people who knew Aubrey in the war, all elderly but some with very vivid recollections.

He said: “Everybody I meet, it amazes me how fond of my father people are. People who haven’t seen him for 70 years still have all these stories about him. They say what a fond, loving chap he seemed to be.

“It’s also fascinating reading his diaries. You get a real insight into what he’s like, you even get a sense of his morals coming out in the diary.

“The diaries up until 1943 were very personal, then in the 1950s there was a turning point in his personality. I think he was devastated by Carole’s death. Carole definitely affected him quite badly.”

Now Mr Hames wants to find people who knew Aubrey as a child, living in Sebastopol in 1923 to 1934 and attending Griffithstown infant and junior school.

After moving to Hillingdon, he returned to Newport as a teenager and lived above a post office in Malpas Road, before moving to Preston Avenue. He attended Brynglas School.

Mr Hames said he would love to speak to anyone who knew his father as child or as a young man in the 1950s before he entered politics.

He will be giving a free talk at the Queens Hotel, Bridge Street in Newport at 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 7. Anyone with any information is invited to contact him through website