Elfrida Minhinnett's eyes are too poor to read the new British passport she holds, let alone enjoy the countries she could travel to with it. With glaucoma, kidney problems, a heart condition and diabetes, the 79-year-old widow has to clutch on to her daughter's arm when she makes her sole weekly outing - to church on Sunday. But the passport finally in her hands represents something important to the woman whose husband fought and died in World War II. 'My husband gave his life, why shouldn't Britain have given this to us earlier?' she asked. 'I could have enjoyed it, seen more things. Now that I am old and withered, what do you give me this for?' Governor Chris Patten said yesterday all but one of the 30 war wives and widows would receive their passports by the end of the month. The outstanding case involves a widow living in Australia, who is still to be dealt with. Commission spokesman Bill Dickson said 13 passports had been collected, nine were awaiting collection and seven eligible women had not yet applied. The British Trade Commission said it would renew efforts to locate a further 12 women believed to be eligible for British citizenship. The Hong Kong War Wives and Widows Bill was passed last July, but the first passports were not issued until December 17. War veteran Jack Edwards, who lobbied for the passport bill, said he would not cheer until each passport was safely in the hands of those who waited. 'We're talking about people who are 80 or 90 who lost their husbands for the Crown. They don't know where to start every time they have to fill in a form just to satisfy a guy in London who's never had a sniff of a bomb.' Mrs Minhinnett said she was beginning to lose her memory through age and illness. She shakes her head slowly, vividly recalling regularly walks up Garden Road with her two-year-old daughter in a frantic search for husband John, whose company of volunteer soldiers was wiped out at Repulse Bay on December 22, 1941.