Who was EC Perkins?

Born in Bowral

Edward Claude Perkins (Claude) was born on 10th March 1900 in Glenquarry area in the Bowral District of NSW. Claude’s father, Thomas Henry Perkins (born 1859) and his mother, Mary Jane Shippley (born 1860) were married in 1878 at Robertson, New South Wales, Australia.

The Perkins family had lived in the area since early 1840’s.

Image of Pte. Edward Claude Perkins 4503
Pte. Edward Claude Perkins 4503

The Perkins Family Tree

The Perkins were well established in the district area and today many of the Perkins’ descendants are still found in the region.

Claude’s parents family tree is shown here. Also shown is the relationship of the site author to Claude.

Image of the Perkins Family Tree

Tom Perkins’ occupation was managing horses. This would have involved such things as breaking-in, stable management,  sales, studding and birthing.

The family moves from Bowral to Leichhardt

In October 1901 Tom and Mary moved the family from Bowral to Leichhardt around 6km from the centre of Sydney.

Several local newspapers recorded the farewell event in Bowral when this occurred. The article below comes from the Mittagong Express, Tuesday 1st October 1901 Page 2 Column 2.

Image courtesy of Trove: 1

No details were provided on why the family moved to Sydney, but, most probably the reason was connected to the opportunity of work at the tram depot, which at the time, most probably still used horses to pull trams.

The map below provides the points of interest related to Claude’s early life from Bowral to Leichhardt, NSW, Australia.

Growing up in Leichhardt

At the time of the family moving to Leichhardt, Claude would have been around 18 months old. The family settled in to “Rendova”,  Catherine Street Leichhardt, Sydney.

Image of the Perkin's Residence Leichhardt
The Perkin’s Residence Leichhardt

The passage of life went on as a number of Claude’s brothers sisters were married.

The family regularly attended All Souls Anglican Church in the centre of Leichhardt.The Minister at the time was Rev. H.G.J. Howe.

Image of The Rev. H.G. Howe, All Souls Anglican Church, Leichhardt, NSW
The Rev. H.G. Howe, All Souls Anglican Church, Leichhardt, NSW

Living in Leichhardt would have been exciting and fun as a young boy. Claude attended Crystal Street School in Petersham and like most Aussies boys of his time, liked swimming. He was a member of the Leichhardt Swimming Club.

The club then was located at the Leichhardt Swimming Baths in Long Cove (adjacent to Leichhardt Park) which were opened in 1905.

In the period of 1910 – 1914 Claude moved into his early teenage years.

The World at War

With the war looming in Europe, there would have been a number of conversations at the Perkins’s dinner table about its impact. By the time the war had commenced in 1914 and Australia’s initial engagement of ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, April 25th 1915, the community would have been abuzz with newspaper articles and day-to-day conversations would have been focused on Australia’s involvement. This would have been a source of great interest for any teenage boy.

When the empire called on Australia to borrow more of its sons to defeat the evil German empire of the Kaiser, every young Australian lad would have been chomping at the bit to get involved.

This sets the scene for our next section on joining the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) expeditionary force.

  1. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/267271027/30024156#
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EC Perkins 4503, AIF