Royal Navy AB D/JX 131284
Able Seaman Cecil Hawkes was born in Bridgwater in 1911, the son of J.T Hawkes and his mother of the surname Lancaster. He was assigned to the newly launched light cruiser HMS Edinburgh in July 1939. Britain declared war on Germany two months later, and then one month after that, on 16 October 1939, while the Edinburgh was near the city of the same name in the Firth of Forth in Scotland, the Luftwaffe made their first bombing raid against the naval base at Rosyth and, although the Edinburgh was not directly hit it, with two other ships, sustained damaged, causing the death of 16 men and the wounding of 44 more. Cecil was one of those wounded, and died two days later. Within three days his body was bought to his hometown and he was buried in this spot. The poem on his memorial is particularly touching.
Sacred to the memory of Cecil WG Hawkes AB RN D/JX 131284 who died of wounds Firth of Forth October 18th 1939 HMS Edinburgh. Just when life was brightest just when his hopes were best God called him from among us to a home of eternal rest. Aged 28.