Friday 16 March 2012: Charlie Barton - 1909-1932
Charlie Barton is my uncle from Tarrington, Herefordshire, who joined the army (2ACC tank corps) and was posted to Peshawar, which at that time was in India.
He took ill with Sprue (a disease of the gut) and was transferred to the British Military Hospital in Rawalpindi where he died on 19 September 1932.
I never met him but my Father always spoke very highly of him and his last memory of him was when he left to go on his posting to India.
I had been planning to travel to Rawalpindi to find the grave and see if I could tidy it up if I found it in a state of disrepair. After researching I found a book on South East Asia British Cemeteries and pinpointed the grave in the Harley Street Cemetery in Rawalpindi.
When we lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we were friends with a Pakistani family and Daniel, our Son, used to play with their children, they were about 7 years old then. One of them, Muhammad Afzal, popped up on Facebook a couple of years back and I told him about the grave.
He took the trouble to travel from Lahore to Rawalpindi to take photographs for us. It's a long time ago and the headstone had fallen over and was shattered.
I asked him if it would be possible to get a new headstone made and, with the assistance of the cemetery caretaker, he arranged everything and this BLIP is the new headstone.
I also added my Father's details to it as I know he would have been very proud to have his name associated with Charlies' grave.
I could not have done this without huge expense, travelling to Rawalpindi to arrange things, so I am eternally grateful to our dear friend, Muhammad Afzal for doing this for us.
Isn't it funny how things go around, would never have thought that knowing this little 7 year old boy in Saudi could have resulted in him doing us this enormous favour 27 years later.