Help me solve the riddle of Leonard and Lilian

18 Raven Close




I hope you will allow me to make an appeal in the hope of finding information about Lilian Smith, nee Harris.

She was born in 1913 in Sowerby Bridge to Clement and Ethel Harris, nee Bottomley. Lilian married Leonard Smith in Birmingham and they had a child named Mary Elizabeth Smith, who was born in 1935 in Sowerby Bridge. At that time the family was living at 1 Edwards Street, Sowerby Bridge.

In 1937 Leonard left Lilian and took Mary with him to live in South Africa, for reasons unknown to Mary. Leonard would never speak to her about Lilian and neither would any of his family.

For at least 60 years Mary has been searching for Lilian. She last saw her mother when she was two years old; she not seen or heard of her since that day her father took her away from her. She is now 78 years old and still lives in South Africa with her family.

I am hoping that someone in the area may recall the family and knows what happen to Lilian. Ethel died in 1926 when Lilian was 13. Her father, Clement, remarried a lady named Elsie Goodhew who was a war widow; they married in 1936 in Grimsby.

I don’t know when Clement and Elsie moved away from either Grimsby or Sowerby Bridge but I do know that Clement died in 1966 in Brixworth, Northants and I think Elsie had died a few years before that in Rugby.

But it’s Lilian who we want to find out about so if anyone knew or knows anything about her, please let me know. Thank you all for reading my plea and to the paper for allowing me to do so. Best wishes to you all.

John K Colin

(Tel: 07813 032173; e-mail or contact Mary Smith, now Mary Volschenk,at 4 Bella Casa, Marshall Street, Heidelberg, South Africa,

tel: 016 341 2134)