A Leighton woman’s quest to find the story behind her brother’s death in Italy during WW2 ended with an unexpected meeting with Prince Harry.
Eileen Litwin, 82, of Hockliffe Road, travelled to Cassino, Italy, on May 15 with daughter Cindy and son-in-law Paul to retrace the steps of her war hero brother Sydney– who was shot in the loin and kidney on May 12 1944, dying 17 days later.
Private Sydney Hyde, of Leighton Buzzard, had been fighting in the Battle of Monte Casino when he was injured– a vicious conflict which claimed more than 50,000 Allied soldiers.
While researching the background of Sydney’s exploits prior to the trip, Paul made contact with the Monte Cassino Society.
The group, which takes veterans over to Italy, invited the trio to a 70th anniversary ceremony attended by Prince Harry on May 19.
While there Eileen was approached by the fourth in line to the throne, who paid tribute to her brother.
Eileen told LBO: “He shook hands with me and I said I was pleased to meet him.
“I was wearing Syd’s medals and he asked about those, so I told him my brother had been killed there and buried in Cassino cemetery.
“He said he was sorry to hear that. He was very nice, a lovely boy.
“The way he was talking he really cared, he took his time with everyone.”
> For the full story read today’s Leighton Buzzard Observer