A SWEDISH woman has launched a hunt for clues about her long lost Gourock grandfather who was entwined in a heartbreaking wartime love story.

Katarina Sülau is searching for information about James Mitchell, who she has never met and doubts is still alive as he would now be aged 106.

Katarina said her father Thomas Sülau didn't know he had a different father than his younger brother until he was 10-years-old and found some letters from a James Mitchell, hidden in his mother's closet.

She told him that James was his biological father and after that day she threw the letters away and buried the story for good.

Katarina hopes Tele readers will now help in her family's search for answers.

She said: "It breaks my heart that we waited too long to search for him.

"I do realize that my grandfather James is not likely to be alive still, but if there are any known relatives of any kind then I, and especially my dad of course, would be overjoyed to know about it."

Katarina says she knows that her grandfather was born around 1913-14 in Gourock and he was in the army during the Second World War and may have been a captain.

For some time he was stationed in Fischbeck in Hamburg, Germany.

It was during his time when James met Katarina's grandmother Erna.

At the time, Erna was married to Werner Sülau but her husband was captured by the Russians and imprisoned.

The years went by and when Erna didn't hear anything she assumed Werner was dead and later began dating James.

Katarina added: "She met James and they had my dad, Thomas.

"When the war ended, the British army wasn't allowed to stay and James went back to Scotland.

"Erna wanted to move as well, along with my dad of course, but her mother was ill and had no one else to look after her.

"So she stayed in Germany and cared for her mother."

Around 1945 Werner, who had been held captive in Russia during this whole time, managed to escape and made his way back on foot from Russia to Germany.

In 1946 he returned to Hamburg and to his wife.

Katarina said her grandmother Erna never spoke about what happened.

She said: "My dad remembers that my grandmother was reluctant to talk about it and I can only imagine how much hurting there is to this story.

"I think my dad never really searched for his father because he didn't want to upset his mother.

"But he has talked to me and his family about it so many times, and of course he would have loved to have met James.

"It breaks my heart that we waited too long."

Katarina believes that at some point in his life, probably around 1945, James may have lived at 53 Nelson Road in Gourock.

She says that her family would be overjoyed to find any relatives or receive any information about Mr Mitchell.

Anyone who can help Katarina is asked to phone the Tele on 558932.