Images and additional information courtesy of John Hawkins.


Born: 1911, Harwich, Essex.

Died: 13th June 1944; age: 33; MPK.


Rank: Lieutenant Commander.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S.’Boadicea’


Memorial Reference:

  1. 3.

Chatham Memorial,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William J. & Flora M. Hawkins; husband of Winifred Hawkins, of Freston, Suffolk.


Father: William James Hawkins, born May 1885, Dover, Kent.

Mother: Flora Meachen Hawkins (nee Thurlow), born 1886, Harwich, Essex.

Brother to Ronald Hawkins kia.


In 1937, Brentford, Middlesex, Frederick married Winifred Mary Curwen (nee Ward), born 1910.

They had 4 children.


A family note: John Hawkins son.

My father went to sea joining a 3 mast sailing ship ‘Loch Linnie’ in the early 30’s. Transferred to steamships and then joined the Royal Navy in 1938. His first ship was H.M.S.’Spearfish’ (submarine), and then H.M.S.’Mackay’, then H.M.S.’Nigeria’ (cruiser) as Navigation Officer and Woolston. He was on H.M.S.’Nigeria’ involved with PQ17 – infamous convoy to Russia. He was then given command of H.M.S.’Boadicea’ – Russian conoys etc 1943- 1944. Involved in the D.Day Landings 6th June 1944. Boadicea was hit by a torpedo 13th June, with the result of only 12 people survived. Sadly, my father was killed. He left a widow, 3 sons and  a daughter.

His name is on the war memorial at Freston Church.

One thing I remember – was my father forbidding us to play in the street at Freston – because of the traffic. There was only 2 cars in the village and we owned one of them.

Hawkins 3Frederick served as an officer in the merchant navy on square rigged ships before the war.

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Hawkins 12

Frederick and his son John home on leave.


Hawkins 10


The crew of H.M.S.’Boadicea’


Hawkins 8


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Under attack!

As a Captain Frederick was able to take photos in between commands as the convoys came under air attack.

Hawkins 15

Hawkins 11


13th June 1944

H.M.S. ‘Boadicea’ was a B class Destroyer. Built by Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.). Ordered 4th March 1929, laid down 11th July 1929, launched 23rd September 1930 and commissioned 7th April 1931. In 1944, H.M.S. ‘Boadicea’ was in the English Channel preparing to support the Normandy landings in ‘Operation Neptune.’ On the 6th June H.M.S. ‘Boadicea’ escorted 31 tank landing ships of the 8th Armoured Brigade. Arriving on the 7th in the Western Tank Force area. She was returning on the 13th June to Milford Haven for more escorting duties, when she was attacked by a single German Junker 88 aircraft, 12 nautical miles south-west of Portland Bill, Dorset. She was hit in the forward magazine causing an explosion. H.M.S. ‘Boadicea’ went down in 3 minutes. 170 crew lost their lives 12 were rescued and given vast quantities of rum.


Extra information on H.M.S. ‘Boadicea’ courtesy of John Hawkins son of Lieutenant Commander Frederick William Hawkins, RN.

A sons tribute EADT


  • I was on board a destroyer escort in the convoy ahead of HMS Boadicea and saw the plane that sank her, it machine gunned us as it headed back to France.
    I saw the aircraft and although we were at action stations we were unable to destroy it owing to the guns not being automatically controlled, it was flying just above sea level
    I have always regretted that we were unable to avenge the very sad loss of the gallant destroyer..
    Peter Seaborn, Tiptree , Essex.


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