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Kathleen and Violet

​Kathleen Smith and Violet Rossini and their brothers Charlie, Cyril and John were separated as children and grew up in different families.

Violet emigrated to Australia aged 32 and spent nearly 50 years attempting to find her sister, but in September this year she travelled from Australia to be reunited with her long-lost sister Kathleen after the Family Tracing Service located her in Lincolnshire. 

Kathleen and Violet’s family originated from Kimberley, Nottinghamshire and the siblings were boarded out to different families after their father died and the authorities said their mother couldn't cope.

The rules for children taken into care back then meant they were not supposed to see each other. The sisters attended separate schools but would secretly meet in the mornings. Unfortunately they lost touch when Kathleen left school.

Kathleen's daughter Sharon Priestley said: "Violet so enjoyed her stay in Lincoln, it is hoped she may be able to get back here for another visit. My mum has confirmed a few things that Violet thought she knew and I think she filled mum in on little bits. The great thing about it is that they met each other after all those years."

Speaking at the reunion, Violet said: "I feel wonderful now. It's answered a lot of questions. It's put some puzzles into shape."

Kathleen said: "Violet has always been in my thoughts – I never forgot her. I couldn't get her out of my mind, I thought about her morning, noon and night."

After losing touch with her sister Violet went into service (employment as a servant) when she met her first husband; they had five children. He died of cancer, she re-married and the family emigrated.

Kathleen moved to Kent, trained as a nurse and married. The couple moved to Lincoln when her husband, also a nurse, got a job.

Now, two months after their reunion, a few tantalising clues about their brothers have emerged, together with the discovery of a previously unknown half-brother.

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