Charles William Hawkins


About Charles William

  • Name
    Charles William
  • Initials
    C W
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Great Staughton, Huntingdonshire
  • Resided town
    Eaton Socon, Huntingdonshire and Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire
  • Commemorated
    Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery, France; Eaton Socon War Memorial, Huntingdonshire; Irthlingborough War Memorial, Northants
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
    8 April 1918
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Leather Currier

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Norfolk Regiment


Charles William Hawkins was born in Great Staughton, Huntingdonshire in 1889, the eldest child of Benjamin, a blacksmith, and Sarah (nee Newman).  In both 1891 and 1901, the family was living at 2 White Lion Row, High Street, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Huntingdon.  The family comprised Ben (37), Sarah (32) and siblings Charles (12), Mary (8), Alice M (6), James H (5) and Justice (1).

Charles married Violet May Coles on 31 March 1907 at Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire and by the time Charles enlisted in 1916 they had five children, Ada (1907), James (1909), Charles (1912), Walter (1914) and Frances (1915).  In 1911 Charles (22) and Violet May (23) were living at 49 Victoria Street, Irthlingborough with Ada Lillian (3) and James William (1).  Charles is a leather currier, someone who finishes and colours tanned hide.

Prior to enlisting Charles had served in the Bedford Militia for two years and had bought his discharge in 1907. He attested at Irthlingborough on 12 December 1916 and gave his address as 48 Gosham Road, Irthlingborough and his occupation as a factory gas stoker.  He was mobilised on 28 February 1917 and joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.  Shortly after mobilisation, on 21 March 1917, Charles passed through Peterborough East Station and wrote in the visitors’ book “The very best thanks to the ladys and for what I have received for a short stay.”

At the end of July 1917, Charles transferred to the Essex (F) Regiment Royal Engineers (Inland Waterways and Docks) as a Pioneer and then to the Royal Garrison Artillery in Derby on 12 November 1917.  He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France from 2 January 1918 to 8 April 1918, when he died of a shell wound to his back whilst serving with the 64 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.  Charles was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals and is buried and commemorated at the Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery, France and commemorated on the Eaton Socon War Memorial, Huntingdonshire and the Irthlingborough War Memorial, Northamptonshire.

Sadly, just six months after Charles’s death in France, his wife, Violet May Hawkins died from bronco pneumonia in Irthlingborough on 12 September 1918, aged 31 years.  They left five young children, Ada, the eldest was eleven years old and Frances the youngest was just three years old.

Could they be a part of your family?  What happened to the children?  Do get in touch if you can tell us more.

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