Patricia’s trip to honour brothers

Visiting the Vatican, left to right, are Patricia Smith, Nancy Hall, Karen Abrahams and Gabriel Abrahams.
Visiting the Vatican, left to right, are Patricia Smith, Nancy Hall, Karen Abrahams and Gabriel Abrahams.

A SCARBOROUGH woman says she has had the “trip of a lifetime” after paying her respects at her brothers’ war graves in Italy.

Patricia Smith, of Pinewood Drive, said she only remembers seeing Jack and Leslie once as a little girl and said the trip was an “emotional but wonderful experience”.

Jack Barham.jpg

Jack Barham.jpg

She travelled to Rome with her sister Nancy Hall, niece Karen Abrahams and Karen’s husband Gabriel.

They visited the graves of Private Jack Barham, who died aged 23 at Anzio on March 12, 1944, and Private Leslie Varey Barham, who died aged 21, at Arezzo on August 15, the same year.

Both brothers served in the 9th (The Queen’s Own Yorkshire Dragoons) Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Patricia, 75, was just seven years old when her brothers were killed. They were both blown up by a mine.

Leslie Barham.jpg

Leslie Barham.jpg

Her sister Nancy is 85 and said she was keen to make the trip while she was still well enough to travel.

It was arranged by Karen and Gabriel, who also paid for the trip as a gift to their loved ones.

Patricia said: “It was difficult at times, but it was wonderful too. We were very sad, but glad that we went.

“It was beautiful and the cemeteries were very well kept. At Anzio the beach was really beautiful and I paddled in the waters where Jack would have landed.

“Out of the sadness it was lovely.”

Patricia wishes to say a big thank you to Karen and Gabriel for their kindness and generosity.

She said: “I’m really grateful and can’t thank them enough. No words can say how thankful I am.

“I would never have been able to afford to do something like this myself.”

As part of the trip, the four of them also visited the Vatican and Rome, using the city as a base.

They stayed a stone’s throw from the Colosseum and could see the landmark from the hotel balcony.

They laid crosses on the graves, which had been given to them by the British Legion.

Patricia said that of eight children, six girls and the two boys, there are just three sisters left.

She added: “It really was the trip of a lifetime. We cried that many tears and laughed a lot too.”