Tuesday, 29 May 2018

1918-2018 The Great War remembered.




It’s been a little while since I’ve picked up my quill and dabbled down any recent thoughts…..I blame this partly on my typewriter which is my more random ‘go to’ than public blogging. However today I thought I would reflect on the 1918-2018 centennial. One Hundred years since the Great War to end all wars finished.  To my surprise whilst doing my genealogy I’ve discovered that 3 of my 4 great grandfathers served during the Great War as well as several great granduncles. Today I thought I’d mention my great grandfather Charles Hawkins of Middlesbrough, 21 Lune Street to be exact.  He was born in 1898 on the 27th June at 9 Elden Lane, Warrington in the County of Lancaster the child of Margaret Hannah Hawkins (formerly Rank) and Charles Hawkins although his uncle John Thomas Hawkins appears to be his probable father according to his Military service attestation records. Certainly Great Grandad Charlie was not raised by Charles Hawkins senior but was raised by his Aunty Stroyd at 28 Lune Street…..so I guess it’s probably true.   



What’s interesting when I looked into great gramps Charlie was that he was a career soldier and during the course of his life obtained six medals for both his military and civil service.  I did notice that as his was a special constable during WW2 he should have automatically qualified for the Defence Medal but probably he didn’t apply for it. So I wrote to the Cabinet Office in London and they confirmed that he did indeed qualify for it not only that they kindly sent me his medal which I stitched to his other medals bringing Charlies medals up to seven in total. From his service records I could see he served during WW1 with the Sherwood Foresters & the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, quite a long period in the 1920’s & 30’s as an Engineer and then briefly again during the earlier part of WW2 as a member of the Pioneer Corps. There appears to be some cross over service with working as a Special Constable during 1939-42 and then with the Civil Defence.


Charlie died on the 7th February 1969 still living at 21 Lune Street and my Auntie Carol his daughter  was the informant. Given this was nearly 50 years ago seems like a nice moment just to reflect on an interesting piece of family history.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Bureau of Heraldry South Africa


The Bureau of Heraldry is the official heraldic department of the South African Government. The above coat of arms is their official armorial bearings. I recently had the pleasure of receiving an official coat of arms for my KZA Music Services which largely operates as a tuition service within the Teesside area of the UK. I am very thankful to this department for their professionalism and openness in accepting my business for armorial bearings. Their ethos to the international general public is clearly the way forward and a clear example to the other few remaining official heraldic authorities. Special thanks to Mr Marcel van Rossum OMBB Deputy Director of the Bureau of Heraldry for all his help, insights and advice regarding the greater Heraldic community and for his consistent professional approach in our dealings. A special thanks to Mr Gavin Schlemmer chief heraldic artist of the Bureau of Heraldry for his wonderful art work. Truly this official organisation is a breath a fresh air and taking heraldry into a wonderful new future.