Visiting the grave

Edward Claude Perkins is buried at the A.I.F Burial Ground, Flers in Northern France.

Details of the Burial Ground are found here.

Image of the entrance to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers. Image courtesy of Linda Emery 2007

The images displayed below are the photographic images sent to Claude’s mother in 1920. For a larger view click on the image.

Image No 1 of the Original Grave for EC Perkins 4503

Image No 1 of the Original Grave for EC Perkins 4503

Image No 2 of the Original Grave for EC Perkins 4503

Image No 2 of the Original Grave for EC Perkins 4503

In 1998 I had a busy schedule running a global update program of software used for managing facilities maintenance management overseas. This involved a number of trips where extended time was required in-country.

One of those trips I knew would take me to France. I arranged with my then employer the opportunity to spend time undertaking some research and visiting the cemetery where Claude was buried.

As I had previously undertaken the research some years beforehand, it only required a small amount of follow-up research on how to visit the grave site. That part of the research involved contacting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Australian Embassy in Paris for directions from Paris.

On the Friday afternoon I picked up my rental car for an early start to visit Claude’s grave and visit the battlefields of northern France.

On the Saturday morning I left early in the morning and travelled to the cemetery where Claude was buried.

I arrived at the gates of the cemetery, the day was clear and it was quiet. The only noise I could hear was from a farmer’s tractor in the distance.

Image of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers. Looking to the front of the Cemetery. Image courtesy of Linda Emery 2007

Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers. Looking to the front of the Cemetery. Image courtesy of Linda Emery 2007

Image of EC Perkin's 4503 headstone 1998, Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers

It was an eerie sensation entering the cemetery. It seemed like the area was holy ground, very weird.

I made my way to the location of Claude’s grave. There surrounded by some beautiful roses was his grave stone.

Image of Margaret McMaster and Helen Cooper, great nieces of Edward Claude Perkins visiting his grave in 2011

Margaret McMaster and Helen Cooper, great nieces of Edward Claude Perkins visiting his grave in 2011

I felt a sense of completion as to my knowledge I had been the first person in his family to visit his final resting place. There I found the final words on his headstone that read “Until The Day Dawns” (no doubt a reference to 2 Peter 1:19, a passage in the bible with which Claude and his family would have been very familiar.)

Image of EC Perkin's 4503 Grave, Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers, Image courtesy of Linda Emery 2007

EC Perkin's 4503 headstone, Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Grass Lane, Flers, Image courtesy of Linda Emery 2007

I kind of wished that my Father, my Great Grandmother and Claude’s parents Tom and Mary Perkins were on this trip and had the opportunity of visiting the site, it would have brought great comfort and resolve their thoughts and memories of Claude.

The rest of the weekend, I visited the place where Claude was killed at Highwood, not far from Flers and then visited the other Australian battlefields in the area.

On the last day of my tour I returned to pay my final respects to Claude.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:19 (KJV)

 

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