Long-lost sisters reunited after 72 years
Two sisters who last saw each other 72 years ago have been reunited at last.
Kathleen Smith, 84, of North Hykeham, and Violet Rossini, 80, grew up in Nottinghamshire but were split up as children and placed into care.
They were also separated from their brothers Charlie, Cyril and John after their father died and authorities decided their mother could not raise five children alone.
Violet, who emigrated to Australia aged 32, made numerous fruitless attempts over the years to find Kathleen.
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Now, she has travelled half way around the world to finally be reunited with her long-lost sister, who lives at Beckside care home, in North Hykeham, thanks to the Salvation Army's tracing service.
The system at the time meant that youngsters taken into care were not supposed to have any further contact with their biological relatives, and the pair lost touch after Kathleen left school.
The women, whose maiden name was Berry, still don’t know what happened to their three brothers.
“I feel wonderful now. It’s answered a lot of questions. It’s put some puzzles into shape," said Violet.
“It is just wonderful to be with my sister again. I couldn't get her out of my mind, I thought about her morning, noon and night," added Kathleen.
“Violet has always been in my thoughts – I never forgot her.”
“Violet and Kathleen went to different schools and were not allowed to mix but they used to meet in secret on the way to school,” said Kathleen's daughter Sharon Priestley, a nurse who lives in Eagle.
“My mum used to give Violet piggy backs up the hill."
Violet went into service where she met her first husband and they had five children before he died of cancer. She married a second time and the family settled in Australia.
Kathleen, meanwhile, moved to Kent where she trained as a fever nurse. She met her husband, also a nurse, and they relocated to Lincoln when he took a job at Branston Hall.
“For my Auntie Violet to come over from Australia now at the age of 80 is fantastic. It’s such a strong bond between two sisters," added Sharon.