Proud teen first to visit war hero relative’s grave

Tara Birkhill, 13, of Armthorpe, was taken to visit her great, great grandfather Edward Goodyear's grave when she was on a school trip in France.
Tara Birkhill, 13, of Armthorpe, was taken to visit her great, great grandfather Edward Goodyear's grave when she was on a school trip in France.

A PROUD teenager got to be the first in her family to visit her great great grandfather’s war grave after teachers took a two-hour detour from a school trip in France.

The family of Tara Birkhill knew that Pte Edward Goodyear had died in World War One but at the time his relatives had little more information than the dreaded telegram that he had been ‘missing in action’.

Tara’s great-grandad believed that his father’s body had never been found. Family research later retrieved records of his death aged 33 in June 1918 - just five months before the end of the war.

McAuley Catholic High School pupil Tara was on a visit to war graves in France when her teachers found out about her relative and took her to the small cemetery in Pernes where he is buried.

She said: “Visiting the grave is a memory that I will always remember and to think that I am the only relative to have ever gone to see him, after he has been there all these years, makes me so proud.”

Tara’s mum Bridget added: “I thought it was such a lovely thing for the school to do. We wrote them a letter saying how grateful we were.”

Bridget is now considering making the trip herself with other relatives including her mum Audrey Taylor, 73, who was very moved when she saw Tara at the grave.