A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- CWGC Headstones -
- Ventnor Cemetery : George Charles Hawkins -


In Ventnor Cemetery, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Private headstone. Grave location Q 82.

Ventnor Cemetery : George Charles Hawkins

click to enlarge

In Ever Loving Memory of
FEB 17TH 1944


Further Information

George Charles Hawkins

Son of Charles John Hawkins and Jessie Hawkins (née Lethbridge) of Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Born : 1923, Ventnor.

Electoral Register information :

1925 - 1933 : The family are at 2 Plevna Cottages, South Street, Ventnor.
1938 : The family are at The Nest, South Street, Ventnor.

Service information :

Sgt (Pilot) 1322223 George Charles Hawkins, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Casualty information :

Died 17 February 1944. No information is known about the circumstances, other than the headstone inscription.

CWGC record ...

Commemorated at :

Ventnor War Memorial
Sandown Grammar School War Memorial

Documents and newspaper cuttings :


Friday, September 26, 1941 Page 2

EAST WIGHT SQUADRON AIR TRAINING CORPS. - Forty-two cadets have been enrolled in the Ventnor Flight and 39 at Sandown-Shanklin. The following local cadets have been successful in passing the proficiency examination conducted by the Central Trade Test Board of the Headquarters Air Training Corps : Pilot Observer (training as): Sergt. G.C. Hawkins, Corpl. E.A. Saunders, Cat. O.R. Moorman. The marks gained by the successful candidates were: Sergt. Hawkins, navigation 90 per cent.; advanced mathematics, 80 per cent.; Corpl. Saunders, 82 per cent., navigation, 90 per cent. advanced mathematics; and Cat. Moorman, 72 per cent. navigation and 86 per cent. advanced mathematics.


Friday, May 28, 1943 Page 2

Ventnor and the War
L/A/C. G. Hawkins Gets His Wings
Mr. and Mrs. C. Hawkins, The Nest, South Street, Ventnor, have received a cable from Canada stating that one of their sons, Leading Aircraftman George Hawkins (late of the Town Hall clerical staff and well-known local cricketer), has secured his wings as a pilot. He gained pre-Service experience with the Ventnor Flight of the Ventnor Training Corps and is, we believe, the first member to gain this coveted honour.
Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins' two other sons, William and John, are on active service, the former in the Navy and the latter in the Army. "Bill," who is attached to the Fleet Air Arm, has recently been promoted leading air mechanic. John, the eldest is serving in France and was at Dunkirk. At present he is in North Africa. [sic] Mr. Hawkins, father of these young men, is the well-known cricket groundsman at Steephill.


Friday, February 25, 1944
Page 1

Ventnor this week mourns the loss of a gallant young townsman by the tragic death of Sergt.-Pilot George Hawkins, a further reference to which appears on another page. George was a general favourite, his quiet, unassuming nature endearing him him to all, whether in sport or in his day-to-day contacts. That such a promising young life should have thus been cut off is mourned by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, and seldom have we heard so many expressions of sincere regret from so many quarters. The bereaved parents, brothers and sisters will be consoled, we hope, by the knowledge that in their unspeakable grief they have the heartfelt sympathy of us all.

Page 2

Tragic Death of Sergt.-Pilot G. Hawkins
Accidentally Killed Whilst Night Flying in Scotland
Last Friday Mr. and Mrs. C. Hawkins, of The Nest, South Street, Ventnor, received the distressing news that their youngest son, Sergt.-Pilot George Charles Hawkins, had met his death on the previous day as the result of an accident whilst flying solo in a night-training exercise from a base in Scotland. From information since received it was gathered that death must have been instantaneous.
By the death of this gallant young airman - he was only 20 years of age - Ventnor loses a popular townsman who had prospects of a successful career. Last May it was our pleasure to record the fact that following a course of training in Canada he had gained his wings, and by doing so was the first member of the local A.T.C., in which he received his pre-Service training, to achieve this coveted distinction. Prior to entering the R.A.F. in February, 1942, Sergt. Hawkins, who had had a Secondary School education at Sandown, became a member of the staff of the Clerk's department at the Town Hall, where, as in all his other contacts, he was highly esteemed. He will be greatly missed on the cricket field at Steephill, and his outstanding skill as a batsman was frequently commented on in our reports. In this connection we welcome the appreciation attached to this report from the pen of our cricket correspondent, Jaybew. At one time Sergt. Hawkins sang in the choir of St. Boniface Church. Though rather shy and reserved, he had gathered around him a large number of friends, and all who knew him will mourn the passing of one who could, without any suspicion of exaggeration, be described as "one of the best." Expressions of regret at his untimely passing have been heard on all sides, and, as indicated elsewhere in our columns, the deep sympathy of all who know them will be with the bereaved parents, brother and sisters in their irreparable loss.

The remains were brought to deceased's home town for burial and the funeral took place at the Cemetery yesterday (Thursday), amid widespread manifestations of sympathy and affection. The Rev. H. Haworth Coryton (Rector of Bonchurch) officiated. The coffin, which was draped with the Union Jack, was borne to its last resting place by six sergeants from an R.A.F. Station.
The cortege was met at the Cemetery Gates by Squadron-Leader C.B. Taylor, Pilot Officer L.N. Keen and several cadets representing the Ventnor Flight of the A.T.C., Lieut. Mawson (of the Home Guard) together with a number of public representatives whose names are given below.
The principal mourners were Mr. and Mrs. C. Hawkins (parents), Leading Air Mechanic Wm. Hawkins, of the Fleet Air Arm (brother), Mrs. Green and Mrs. Sheppard (sisters), Mrs. John Hawkins (sister-in-law), Messrs. W. Goslin and C. Dore (uncles), Mrs. O. Channing, Miss Thelma Houa-Bailey, Miss Eileen White, and Flying Officer Webb, from the deceased's station.
Among others present were Mr. T.S. Parry and Mr. W.C.S. Hake (representing the Welfare Committee of the A.T.C.), Mr. James Wearing (Clerk, V.U.D.C.), Capt. W.G. Saunders (Sanitary Inspector), Mr. S.H. Locke (Rating Officer), Mr. A.V. Howell (outside staff, V.U.D.C.), Messrs. J.B. White, O.V. March and A.V Hills (representing the Ventnor Cricket Club), Mr. R. Bolton King (headmaster) and Mr. W.G. Rodway (representing Sandown Secondary School), Mr. A.J. Jefferies (Liberal Club), Mr. A. Urry and Mr. M. Dyer (St. Wilfrid's Club), Mr. A. Smith (St. Catherine's House), Mrs. Stuart Ingram, Mrs. W.J. Nigh, Mrs. O.V. March, Mrs. O. Channing, Mrs. A. Wheeler, Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. P.R. Spencer, Mrs. H.A. White, Miss Adams, etc.
Mr. Coryton gave an appropriate address at the church, which was filled to overflowing.
Following the committal the Service representatives gave a farewell salute over the open grave.
There were many floral tributes, these including those sent from the O.C. and officers, sergeants and N.C.O.'s, Airmen and W.A.A.F.'s of deceased's station.
Messrs. H. Ingram & Sons, Ltd. Made the local arrangements.

George Charles Hawkins.
A Cricketer's Tribute
With the passing of George Hawkins, better known to us all as "Young Major," the Ventnor Cricket Club has lost one of its most promising younger players. He will be remembered by the Island's 2nd XI Clubs perhaps more so than by the 1st XI's, but had he returned to us he would have "walked" into the 1st XI. He was a quiet, unassuming young lad, likeable for his shyness in avoiding the limelight of congratulations, especially after a game in which he had done particularly well, with the remark, "Well, I had my share of the luck; really I did deserve such a score." We of the Cricket Club (and I am sure all other associations with which he was connected) will cherish his memory, knowing that he gave his life for his country.
To his bereaved parents (his father is the popular groundsman at Steephill) we offer our deepest sympathy and condolences, with the full knowledge and belief that the Wings he has now won are far greater than any that mortal man can bestow.


Friday, March 3, 1944 Page 2

HAWKINS. - Mr. and Mrs. C. Hawkins and family have been greatly touched by the many letters and other expressions of sympathy they have received in their very sad bereavement, and would take this opportunity of conveying their sincere thanks to all who have shown such kindness to them at this time. They would also thank all those who sent such lovely floral tributes. Will friends please accept this as the only intimation.

Page 3

A Ventnor Airman's Funeral
The following is a list of the floral tributes sent to the funeral of Segt.-Pilot G.C. Hawkins, a report of which appeared in our last issue ; -
(the list of floral tributes has not been transcribed)
Sympathetic reference to the passing of the young airman was made by the Rector of Bonchurch during the course of his sermon on Sunday evening. Mr. Coryton said :
How true the words of the Wisdom of Solomon, "Ye being made perfect, in a short time fulfil a long time," can be applied to George Hawkins, that gallant young airman who laid down his life in the service of his country. Not only was his comparatively short life a very full life, but one that has left a lasting mark and a glorious example to those who follow in his steps. The whole man seemed to be revealed in his young life. Whichever way he turned he seemed to excel, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. He was exceedingly popular in his boyhood and was a keen member of St. Boniface Church Choir. Then in his work at the Council office he gave his best. Ventnor Cricket Club will long remember his enthusiasm, and have lost a promising coming player. Then came to him, as to so many others, the wonderful opportunity of seeing the world, and his training in that great country of Canada as an airman left a lasting mark upon him. Then his return to the old country having won his wings, seemed to open up a new great adventure for his country. But higher hands saw otherwise and we must leave him confidently in them. One thing we may be sure, George Hawkins is carrying on in a fuller life, for are we not told that His servants shall serve him and they shall see His face? Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and his many friends.


Friday, March 17, 1944 Page 2

Ventnor Council
The Chairman referred in sympathetic terms to the passing of Sergt.-pilot G. Hawkins, one of the most popular and promising members of the Council's clerical staff. It was a matter of deep regret to them all that he had lost his life. It had been his intention, he (the Chairman) understood, to come back and carry on with his local government work.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, February 16, 1945 Page 2

HAWKINS. - In ever loving memory of our dear George, Sergt.-Pilot, R.A.F., accidentally killed while night flying, Feb. 17, 1944. - From his loving Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters.
A day of memory, sad to recall,
One year to-day, George, you left us all.
Some may forget you, now you are gone,
But we shall remember, no matter how long.

HAWKINS. - In loving memory of our dear brother, George Charles, Sergt.-Pilot, R.A.F.V.R., killed in flying accident, Feb. 17, 1944. - From John and Elsie. Not a day do we forget him, in our hearts he is always near.


Friday, February 16, 1945 Page 2

Ventnor and the War.
Driver John Hawkins, R.A.S.C., of Clarendon, Dudley Road, Ventnor, is home on leave from Italy, having been successful in a ballot taken for this purpose. He has been away two years and was for five months engaged at the Anzio beach-head. Driver Hawkins, after all the excitement of active service, nearly ran into serious trouble on the rail journey from Waterloo to Portsmouth, bring involved in the recent train accident at Esher in which a Canadian soldier was killed, and a number of passengers injured.
It will be remembered that the train ran into a stationary train on the Sunday night during the recent snowy week-end. The first two coaches were wrecked. Driver Hawkins was travelling in the third, and, though badly shaken, escaped with a bruised forehead.
Driver Hawkins is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Hawkins, of The Nest, South Street, and returns to duty on March 3. Before enlisting he was in the employ of the MacFisheries Company at their Ventnor branch.


Janet Griffin for newspaper research.
Page last updated : 13 September 2015 (added further newspaper reports)


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