The sadness of this story is that not only did Edward Claude Perkins lose his life as an under age soldier, but equally, a mother and father were reminded of their son’s death and sacrifice till the time of their own deaths. Claude’s brothers and sisters also grieved for a longer period.
The Department of Defence Correspondence
When Claude passed away, the activities and correspondence that occurred between the Department of Defence and the Claude’s mother Mary is both interesting, sad and insensitive.
It provides insight into understanding the social fabric of family units, assumed guardianship, and recognition of paternal guardianship vs maternal guardianship.
The main points to observe are the correspondence that identifies the beneficiaries of the medals. It seems the will had no relative specifically nominated to receive the medals, see the letter on the 09 December 1921.
My great great grandmother Mary was not allowed to receive the medals as she was not consider the closest blood relative to Claude.
The father was considered to be the closest blood relative, something that would not stand up to scrutiny in this day and age! Mary had to write to the Department of Defence to confirm that his father was alive and lived at that address.
Other correspondence of significance is the request to Department of Defence to have a few words placed on his permanent headstone.
There is no sign that this request was processed, however go the page “Visiting the grave” you’ll see what was written on Claude’s headstone.
For further information about Claude’s official records and correspondence go to the official records page here.