image from the Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury – 1916


Born: 7th January 1896, 123, Fore Street, Ipswich.

Died: 10th November 1916; age 20; Died from a Gun Shot Wound to the head – 36th Casualty Clearing Station.

Residence: 12, Newry Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.

Occupation: a Turner & Fitter.

Thomas joined the Essex and Suffolk Royal Garrison Artillery in 1913.

Enlistment Location: Ouyen, Victoria, Australia; Date: 9th February 1915; Age: 19 years & 1 month; Religion: Congregational. Signed up for the Duration of the War & 4 months thereafter. Next of Kin: brother – William Hawkins, of 499, Warncliffe Gardens, St. John’s Wood, London, N.W.



20th November 1915 – Anzac – Charged 2/6d cost of replacing gas helmet.

22nd August 1916 – Armadale – Absent from Parade – fined 10/-

8th September 1916 – Armadale – Disobedience of orders & obsence language to C.O. – 10 days detention.


Embarked Melbourne 8th May 1915 – H.M.A.T.’Euripidas’ – Egypt. 19th November 1915 – admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, Anzac – sick – rejoined unit 25th November from hospital. Reported missing 29th November 1915, Anzac – Admitted Hospital Ship ‘Dongola’ – abrasions to head & face – 30th November 1915. Admitted 5th December 1915 to Bombay Presidency General Hospital, Alexandria – wounded head. Admitted 19th January 1916 – Heliopolis – Enteric Fever. 31st January 1916 disability due to Enteric Fever – invalided to Australia – sailed from Suez – H.M.A.T.’Nestor’ 9th February 1915 disembarked Melbourne – for three months change.

Returned to duty 3rd M.D.

Re-embarked 19th July 1916 – Melbourne with 13th Rifles, 23rd Battalion – H.M.A.T. A26 ‘Armadale’ March in to 6th Tring Battalion – Rollastone from Australia – 28th October 1916 – marched out to join unit Etaples. Re-attested owing to loss of original papers – 8th May 1916.

Wounded in Action – 9th November 1916 – Gun Shot Wound to the head.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 358

Regiment: Australian Imperial Force, Australian Infantry, 23rd Battalion, ‘B’ Coy.


Medals Awarded: Victory & British War & the 1915 Star.


Grave Reference:


Heilly Station Cemetery,







1901   Court next to 121, Fore Street, Ipswich.


Thomas was 5 years old and living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Mary Ann Hawkins (nee Stollery), 47, a Charwomen, born Ipswich.

Florence Agnes M. Hawkins, 20, a Laundry Maid – own account, born Ipswich.

Walter Barnes Hawkins, 17, a Shoe/Boot Maker, born Ipswich.

Elizabeth Mary B. Hawkins, 14, born Ipswich.

Arthur Barnes Hawkins, 10, born Ipswich.


1911   137, Bishops Hill, Ipswich.


Thomas was 15 years old, a Tool Fitter. He was living with his siblings & nephew.

Florence, 30, at a Laundry.

Elizabeth, 23, at a Laundry.

Arthur, 21, a Shop Assistant.

Edward Ashford Hawkins, 3, born Ipswich.


Thomas was a prominent member of the 5th Ipswich Company of the Boys’ Brigade.


Thomas was awarded a Royal Humane Society – Testimonial on Parchment for a rescue in the River Orwell, Ipswich on the 13th August 1909.

Evening Star – 16th August 1909


The story comes to light of an act of heroism by a little Ipswich boy which will be hard to beat. About eleven o’clock on Friday morning, when the tide was at flood, as a number of small boys were playing by the wall opposite Messrs. Cobbold’s brewery, when one of the number, named Curtis (more familiarly known to his chums by the appellation of “Dollop”), fell from the wall into the river. The mishap was witnessed by several barge skippers, whose craft were lying at Messrs. Orvis and Co.’s shipyard for repairs, etc., and a rush was made by a number of them for their boats, with the object of effecting a rescue, but their efforts were not needed, for, with surprising promptitude, a lad named Tom Hawkins, who cannot be more than 12 years old, rushed to the steps by the dock wall, and, in quite professional style, took a header into about ten foot of water, and swam to the assistance of his companion. Seizing his unfortunate friend by the arm, the gallant little rescuer held him at arm’s length, and swam with him to the shore, amidst the plaudits of the onlookers. The whole affair was accomplished in such a short space of time that neither of the lads was the worse for his immersion.

At this time of year, owing to the holiday season, large numbers of children make the foreshore by the Promenade, the quay wall, and the shore by Hog Highland, their happy hunting ground, and, despite warning notices, placed at intervals along the riverside, hundreds of youngsters may be seen disporting themselves in the water, and one may feel surprised that there are not more disasters. The little candidate for the Royal Humane Society’s medal treated the matter with the utmost sang-froid, evidently not realising the merit of his achievement.




On the 19th March 1914, 18 year old, Thomas Hawkins departed from the Port of London, travelling via The Cape, on the S.S. ‘Beltana’ of the P & O Branch, to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He wanted to be a Farmer.

Thomas arrived at the Port of Melbourne on the 4th May 1914 – Master: W. G. Lingham.


Thomas’s mother Mary Ann Hawkins died 1909, Ipswich.


William Hawkins received his late brother’s personal effects:

Disc, scissors, 3 coins, badges, matchbox holder, bank book no. 73955, notebook, pocket wallet, necklace (damaged), letters, photos & cards.


William received Thomas’s 1915 Star, Victory & British War medals + ‘Where the Australian’s Rest’ pamphlet. The Memorial Scroll was sent to William on the 11th May 1922 & the Memorial Plaque on the 8th May 1922.


Thomas Hawkins, of the Australian Infantry has been killed in France. He was wounded and succumbed to his injuries at the Clearing Station. As a young lad he may be remembered as earning the Royal Humane Society’s certificate for saving a lad from Ipswich Dock. He was a prominent member of the 5th Ipswich Company of the Boys’ Brigade, and subsequently joined the Essex and Suffolk R.G.A. in 1913. Early in 1914 he emigrated to Australia, joining the Overseas Contingent upon the outbreak of war.

He saw active service in Gallipoli, and was wounded, being sent to Egypt until convalescent, when after recovering from an attack of fever he returned to Australia. With a further contigent he returned to England early in October this year, and after a few weeks in England returned to action in France.


Thomas is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Clement’s Congregational Church, and at Holy Trinity church Ipswich and is also remembered on the Orwell Works Memorial, Ransomes Sims & Jefferies, Ipswich.

Force, Australian Infantry, 23rd Battalion, ‘B’ Coy:


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