School trip revealed family’s war heroes
Albie, 14, finds second great great uncle killed in the First World War
USUALLY it is the parents’ duty to teach their children about their family history.
But one father received a lesson in his ancestry from his son, who learned about a relative who died in the First World War during a school trip.
Now the late Private William Peverill’s name will be inscribed alongside his brother John’s on the Harefield War Memorial – reuniting the siblings after nearly a century.
Mike Peverill, the brothers’ great nephew, was invited to attend the ceremony yesterday (Tuesday) along with some of his family.
He said: “I only found out that two of my great uncles died during the First World War in June as a result of a school trip that my 14-yearold son Albie took.
“The teacher leading the trip invited all the children taking part to find out if any of their relatives were buried in the battlefields area and it was then that we discovered that William was buried in Hébuterne Military Cemetery in France.
“The itinerary of the history trip was altered to allow Albie to visit Hébuterne so he could visit William’s grave and lay some flowers.”
The family learned that William Peverill had grown up in Harefield before becoming a private in the British Army’s Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) and was killed in France aged 18.
They discovered that William’s older brother John was also a private in the same regiment and died nine months later, in 1917, aged 22.
His grave is in Harefield churchyard and his name is already on the Harefield War Memorial.
Hillingdon Council agreed to add William’s name to the memorial after Mike contacted them.
Mike, 51, who was born in Harefield and now lives in Nottingham, is appealing for members of the public to contact him with any information about his family.
His great uncles came from a family of nine children and lived in the area over several generations.
Their siblings were Elizabeth, Lily, Abel – Mike’s grandfather – Henry, Emily, Alice and Frank.
They are recorded in the 1911 Census as having lived at 28 Kings Cottages, which is no longer there but stood on Moorhall Road, near the canal.
Call Mike on 07505 403133, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At the same time as Mr Peverill’s name is added, paving plaques to commemorate two Victoria Cross recipients from Harefield – Robert Edward Ryder VC and Cecil John Kinross VC – will be laid at the memorial.
n POIGNANT VISIT: Albie Peverill, 14, laid flowers at the grave of his relative William Peverill, who died in the First World War, in Hébuterne, France