Francis Ralph Hawkins 1896-1915

Sapper 2/2 Field Company Wessex Field Company Royal Engineers

Francis Hawkins was born April 1896 in Bishops Lydeard to Charles and Jane Dade. Charles was a sergeant in the Police Force and the family lived in the police station, where Charles had four older brothers and one younger sister.

In 1911 the family had moved to 135 St John Street in Bridgwater, as Charles had retired and was listed as a police pensioner. Aged sixteen, Francis was working as a Clothier Apprentice

During the war he enlisted in the Royal Engineers and was appointed to the second field company. As the second did not arrive at the front until the February of 1915, it's possible that Francis died as a result of training.

He died of meningitis in the Red Cross hospital in Christchurch, Dorset on 17 February 1915, aged 19. He had a mention in the Bridgwater Mercury 24 February 1915 entitled 'DEATH OF A YOUNG BRIDGWATER SOLDIER AT CHRISTCHURCH'. At the time his parents lived in 6 All Saints Terrace, Bridgwater.