|28 Nov 2023
We are sad to hear of the passing of Patricia O'Byrne (nee Bray) who died on 11th October 2024. Here she is remembered fondly by her Son in Law, Patrick Shelvin:
Pat was only at Queens College for a relatively short period after having been evacuated to Australia during the war, but she always spoke with great affection of her time there.
Born on September 18th 1930, she was the daughter of Constance and George Bray an eminent physician and surgeon who specialised in asthma and allergy conditions at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The family lived in Hampstead until the decision was made in 1940, to send the children to their grandmother in Australia.
Pat enrolled at Queen's College in February 1945 on her return from Australia but a year later her father tragically died. Even though the family relocated to Bognor Regis, Patricia continued her education at Queens by commuting by train every day from the south coast until matriculating a year later.
In 1951, she married Peter O'Byrne and the two established a thriving photography business whilst also bringing up their three children.
Pat pursued a variety of interests including being an active member of a Brighton operatic society and gave of her time for the Bluebird Society for the Disabled. With a Mensa level IQ, she was especially adept at tackling Crossword and Soduku puzzles and her mental dexterity led to invitations to appear on TV's Sale of The Century and The Krypton Factor.
In her latter years she helped to focus attention on the problems of loneliness for the elderly and her efforts led to her appearing on 'This Morning' and contributing to a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
Despite the upheaval she endured in childhood and the sadness she experienced at the sudden loss of her father, she always spoke of how she valued her time at Queen's College where she learned lessons and standards that were to stand her in good stead all her life.