Lance Corporal 12391 Alfred Herbert Hawkes
3rd Battalion Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Lance Corporal Hawkes was the son of Samuel and Margaret Hawkes, of High Street, Hungerford. Samuel Hawkes, was a photographer, hairdresser and tobacconist in 3 & 4 High Street (now the Tutti Pole Tea Shop) between c1881 and c1920. He was also agent for Sutton & Co., carriers.
At some point he went to New Zealand where he took up employment as a barman. He joined up in 1916 and was initially posted to 'F' Company, 2nd Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 6th Reinforcement to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
He embarked for Egypt on the 6th May 1916 on HMNZT 53 (SS Navua), disembarking on the 21st June 1916 at Port Suez, Egypt.
He was wounded on the 25th May 1917 in France returning to duty shortly thereafter. He died of wounds on the 4th October 1917, age 33. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing at Zonnebeekseweg, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
- This badge was first worn by the NZEF on their well known 'slouch' hats
The War Diary reads:
Ypres - Battalion in old British front line. CO and Company commanders reconnoitred the ground and taped out the assembly position behind hill 37. At 08.00pm the battalion proceeded by companies in single file at half hour intervals to the assembly tapes. Each man dug for himself a shallow trench. Intermittent shelling all night caused a few casualties. The weather was cold and showery.
Battalion moved forward at 5.50 am and attacked at 6.am.
Battalion consolidated captured position, getting in wounded and burying dead.
[Lance Corporal Hawkes was wounded during this action]
Point of Interest:
A Sergeant H. Hawkes of the 18th Hussars was wounded in France during a charge made by his Regiment at Cambrai and taken prisoner. His father Mr S Hawkes had received a postcard from him stating that he was at Bruswick, and being well looked after. His wounds were in the back and neck. [We believe he could be related to Alfred Hawkes] This Hawkes is not shown on Town Hall memorial board.
Phil Wood kindly emailed the following information from the Newbury Weekly News of 15 Nov 1917, under "Local War Notes":
Intelligence has been received by Mr S Hawkes of Hungerford, that his youngest son, Lance-Corporal H A Hawkes, has paid the great sacrifice, having died of wounds on October 4, the same day they were received. The deceased was for seven years steward on board a liner, then settled down in New Zealand, but when the call came he left all and travelled across the water to give his services in the defence of the homes of Old England. He was in the New Zealand Infantry.
Since being in France he had enjoyed a period of leave, which he spent with his family connections and friends in Hungerford. Mr Hawkes' eldest son, Sergt A H Hawkes, was wounded at Mons in August 1914, and is now a prisoner-of-war in Germany, while his son-in-law, Sergt R W Weaving, has been killed in action. The latter was well-known in Newbury football circles in pre-war days. Another son-in-law, Sergt J Nearney is now serving in France.