Report by ITV Anglia's Sarah Cooper:
Blog: Sarah Cooper @SarahCooperITV
After a hundred years, why is the Battle of the Somme still relevant today? I think this family photo says it all. A century after 19-year-old shoe maker, Raymond Percival, left Rushden Station to become a soldier - his story has brought his family back together again, on the same platform where he said goodbye.
In a previous blog post, I talked about how some of Raymond's relatives got in touch after watching our piece on ITV News Anglia. Well, a few weeks later, I had another email, this time with a birth certificate attached. That's when I found out that our Somme Soldier, Raymond Percival, was a father when he went to fight.
Raymond Percival and Rebecca Bayes had a daughter called Winifred in March 1915. They didn't get married until later that year and that could be why Winifred's birth was kept quiet and why so many of the family didn't know that she ever existed.
Ray's daughter Winifred had a son, who went on to have two sons of his own. One of those sons, Steven Felce, is still living in Rushden today. Steven is Ray's great grandson and Steven's son, James, is Ray's great great grandson. They didn't know that some of their relatives are also still in Rushden and that's why we decided to get them all together for a surprise meeting.
This family reunion was something nobody ever expected and it's been a real privilege for me to tell Raymond's story and help reveal his living legacy. Ultimately, I hope Ray's Somme story will inspire others to find out more about their own family history...you never know what, or who, you might find.
Sarah Cooper, ITV News.