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Express & Star 6 Jan 1916

Express & Star 6 Jan 1916

An article in the Express & Star on 6 January 1916 proudly proclaims that four sons of Mrs Awksford of 21 Lewis Street, Wolverhampton were serving King and Country as soldiers, as follows:

  • Robert aged 17 was in training, having joined the Royal Field Artillery in September 1915
  • William, aged 21, had joined the 18th Hussars at the beginning of the war and was serving in France
  • Joseph, aged 18, was with the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been wounded in May 1915 and was in hospital for five months
  • Howard, aged 20, was in the 1/5th South Staffords and had moved to work in munitions.

Tracking these brothers down has proved more difficult, not least because the Express & Star appears to have printed their name wrong. I finally managed to ascertain that their surname was in fact Hawkesford, with further information as follows:

  • Robert Hawkesford, born 12 April 1898 in Wolverhampton, became Acting Serjeant, regiment number 100762. He married Alice Mitchell in Wolverhampton in 1924, and they went on to have two daughters, Joyce and Mary. He died in 1969.
  • William Waterhouse Hawkesford, born 1894 in Solihull, was later killed in action on 1 July 1916, aged 21. He was the son of Mrs. Harriet Mary Hawkesford (nee Richardson), of 21, Levis Street, Penn Road, Wolverhampton. At the time of his death he was in the 1st Batallion of the Hampshire Regiment (number 16823), and he is commemorated at the Redan Ridge Cemetery No 2, Beaumont, France. He is also listed on the Roll of Honour of the Wolverhampton Higher Grade School, which presumably the brothers attended.
  • Joseph Vincent Hawkesford, born 24 January 1897 in Aston, regiment number 9180. He was taken prisoner in Delville Wood on 31 August 1916. He had been injured by grenades on his right arm and side, and was taken to the Prisoner of War Camp at Burgsteinfurt. After the war, he was one of the returning prisoners who were invited to a dinner organised by the Express & Star in March 1919.
  • Howard Hawkesford, born 1895 in Aston. He married Emily Cable in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1916, and the couple had five children – Eleanor, Doris, William, Joyce and Howard – between 1917 and 1929.