He doesn't know why, but he wants to be called Frank.

A week after he apparently awoke on a beach in Kent, southeast England, with no idea who he is or how he got there, however, his identity is bewildering police and the local community.

The polite and well-spoken man, thought to be in his early 50s to late 60s, turned up at Victoria Hospital in the coastal town of Deal last Thursday clutching sunglasses, a walking stick and a packet of cigarettes.

Dressed tidily in a white T-shirt, black jeans and a patterned sweatshirt, and prepared for the elements with a navy blue walker's coat and beige walking boots, he is believed to have been living relatively normally until all knowledge of his past life deserted him.


Police have issued a photograph and called for the public's help. Detective Sergeant Shaun Creed said the man seemed "quite calm, a little bit withdrawn but not overtly distressed".

"When asked his name, he felt Frank was something he wanted to say, but other than that he doesn't seem to have any recall of his memories," said Creed.

He added that the man arrived at the hospital complaining of "a pounding headache, pain to the neck and memory loss", but tests have revealed no apparent reason for his problems.

Dr Eli Jaldow, a consultant neuro-psychologist at the memory disorders clinic at St Thomas' Hospital in central London, said such cases tended to be caused by financial, marital or social stress rather than bangs to the head.

The resulting identity blackout, which tends to affect men more than women, can last anything from days to months.

- Independent