|Inscription in Bible by Catherine O’Grady Perrotin to her grandson, Edward Bennett, 1893|
The inscription reads:
|Edward Bennett died in Ruardean on June 3, 1899. He was only eight years old. Catherine is buried with him and with his younger sister, Mary Clements Bennett, who died at two-and-a-half years old in 1895.|
|The marker on the left side of the grave reads, “Catherine Perrotin 1840 – 1901”|
|The marker in the center (front) of the grave reads, “Edward Bennett 1891 – 1899.” The marker on the right of the grave reads,
“Mary Clements Bennett 1892 – 1895.”
At the invitation of our English Bennett cousins, my husband and I travelled to Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean in August of 2011. We visited Ruardean a couple of times with Jennie and Don Murray and Dorothy, Bob, Tim, and Peter Stephens, who graciously endured our endless questions and my non-stop photography. We also met new Bennett cousins: Eileen, Linda, Susanne, Pearl, Marlene, Rebecca, and Joanne, among others. It was such a wonderful feeling to know there were so many of this branch of our family, when at one time we thought there were none.
|Rear view of Saint John the Baptist Church, Ruardean, Gloucestershire|
It is one thing to see a picture of where your ancestors are buried. It is another thing altogether to stand next to the graves and touch them, knowing they worshipped at this church and walked the grounds at one time, that their remains are there now, and that generations of descendants like Rose Bruton (Jennie’s mother) and Jennie and Dorothy have tended them and visited them over the years. It overwhelms the senses.
I felt incredibly close to my great-great grandmother Catherine at that moment and still do. The love of this family truly endures. I feel so blessed – and grateful – to be a part of it.