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 my great grandfather Charlie, 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 gramps 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, AND 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 a Sapper in the Royal Engineers 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 Charlie 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.