Sydney George Hawkins

Sydney George Hawkins was born on 21st October 1884 at Eccleshall in Staffordshire. He was the son of John Hawkins (born Eccleshall) and his wife Hagar (nee Lewis) who was born at Tregare in Monmouthshire.
In 1891 the family were living at Poole House, Slindon, Eccleshall and included William (junior) (17), Thomas Henry (13), Philip F.(9), Frances Dorothy (8), Alfred Sumner (2) and Sydney George who was 6 years old. His father was a farmer.

Ten years later Sydney had left home and was boarding at 16, Worsley Street in Warrington at the home of the Boscow family. He was now 16 years old and described as “a farmer’s son”.

On 6th August 1905 he married Mary Ellen Green (who was also from Eccleshall) at Walton Parish Church. They had Philip William in 1905, Alfred in 1907 and Cyril John in 1909.

By 1911 they were living in Acton Grange and Sydney was working as a groom and gardener. Their son Roland was born later that year, followed by Sidney J. in 1916 and Irene D. (known as Dolly) in 1921. Around the time of the Great War, the family must have moved to Factory Yard in Hatton, as that was where they were living when Sydney was recorded as an absent voter in 1918 and 1919.

On enlistment at Stockton Heath in December 1915, he was described as a horse driver. He was assigned to the Army Service Corps and given the service number 7617. However he did not serve until the start of 1917, when he was transferred to a training reserve battalion as a driver and was then posted in the April to India. By September 1918 he was with the 1st/5th Battalion of the Royal West Kents (known as the Queen’s Own Regiment) and had the service number 25781. He was in the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force which embarked Bombay on 25th September and arrived at Basra on 1st October.

Sydney contracted smallpox and was admitted to hospital in Basra on 13th October. He recovered and re-joined his unit on 15th March 1919, when he was posted to “A” Company in Mosul. He finally departed for home on the ship “Phanta”, leaving Basra on 17th September 1919. It proceeded via the Suez Canal to England.

He was then demobilized from the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.

The Hawkins family lived on in Factory Yard in Hatton through the 1920s and 1930s and were recorded on the 1939 Register as living at The Hollies. Sydney was a greengrocery salesman (he sold pop for Parker’s Pop on Taylor Street in Lower Walton, Warrington) and Cyril, Roland, Sydney and Dolly were living at home.

Sydney George Hawkins died in March 1962 at the age of 77 years and Mary Ellen passed away in December 1978, at the age of 94 years.