Portsmouth-born woman journeying from New Zealand back to UK to scatter mother’s ashes appeals to late mum’s friends

A NEW Zealand woman travelling across the world to Portsmouth to scatter her family members’ ashes is making a bid to get in contact with her late mother’s closest friends.

Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 1:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 9:54 am

Louise Bobbitt is hoping to reconnect with the friends of her mum Janet Helen Silver, who died in 2007 at QA Hospital, to invite them to the scattering.

Portsmouth resident Janet, a senior nurse at St James Hospital who managed two community mental health facilities, passed away from multiple sclerosis at the age of 54.

Louise, who was born and grew up in Portsmouth before emigrating in 2004, said: ‘I came back to Portsmouth and she was cremated.

Janet Helen Silver.

‘I was too upset to scatter her ashes at that time.’

Last year, Louise’s brother - Adrian James Sharkey - died, but she was not able to return to the UK due to the strict restrictions on travel in place by the New Zealand government.

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Now, she has made plans to return to England to scatter both Janet and Adrian’s ashes at the Isle of Wight Crematorium at 11am on Wednesday, August 24.

Janet and Louise at Louise's graduation.

Louise said: ‘This will reunite them both and also lay them to rest with my maternal grandparents and uncle.’

In particular, Louise is hoping to connect with Janet’s closest friend, Karen Brown, who is godmother to Louise’s two daughters and is also from Portsmouth.

Janet grew up in Ryde and was married at 17 years old, having Adrian at 18 and then Louise at 19.

After 12 years of marriage, Janet and her husband divorced, and Janet did not remarry.

Louise said: ‘My mum loved art and enjoyed going to galleries and went to Florence in Italy to look at the art there.

‘She was also a great artist herself and painted for a while.

‘She loved being a grandma to my daughters Abbey and Frances.

‘When she was healthy I remember her having many close friends and she enjoyed spending time with them.

‘She loved her garden and flowers and enjoyed walking in the South Downs, Stoughton Down and Kingley Vale being two of her favourite spots.

‘She was a member of the RSPB and enjoyed watching David Attenborough documentaries.’

Friends of Janet are invited to get in contact with Louise by emailing her at [email protected]