Ogrizovic cousins retrace grandad's journey to Croatia

Sam and Chris Ogrizovic with their grandfather Nick and grandmother Maureen Image copyright Provided by family
Image caption Sam and Chris Ogrizovic decided to take on the challenge at their grandfather's funeral last year

Two cousins are set to retrace the 1,100-mile (1,770 km) journey their late grandfather took when he fled the Nazis as a teenager.

Sam and Chris Ogrizovic will set off from Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire and walk or hitchhike to Brlog, Croatia.

The pair will emulate grandfather Nicola, who escaped the village aged 14 as it came under siege from Nazi soldiers during WWII.

Mr Ogrizovic, known as Nick, died from Alzheimer's last year, aged 86.

Sam and Chris will take just £20, and use no maps on the trek in their grandfather's memory.

Under the name Papa's Journey, the pair are hoping to raise more than £2,000 for the Alzheimer's Society when they embark on the challenge in May.

Mr Ogrizovic had seen his father shot dead by Nazi soldiers when he fled Brlog, then in Yugoslavia, in the 1940s, leaving behind his mother and two sisters.

It took him five years to make his way to Nottinghamshire, having been captured and sent to a Prisoner of War camp in Italy.

However, the two cousins are hoping to retrace his steps in eight days.

Image copyright Provided by family
Image caption Nick Ogrizovic lost contact with his mother and sisters during Yugoslavia's unrest in the 80s and 90s

Sam, 30, from Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire, said: "We are trying to replicate it as much as we can with no planning, no maps, no planes and only £20.

"Unskilled and with little education, he came here to work in the mines purely because he thought he would be closer to get back to Yugoslavia. But he never returned."

Cousin Chris, from Birmingham, and son of Coventry City goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic, said they were nervous about the trip.

"There's always a curiosity of where grandpa came from, where your heritage is, and it's a great opportunity to go back and find out," said the 31-year-old.

The pair have been given letters by the Alzheimer's Society written in several different languages to explain to people they meet along the way what they are doing.

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