Henry John Hawkins

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Poplar, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

General information


Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
East Ham, Essex, England, United Kingdom
 —  London Regiment, 2/3rd Bn. (Royal Fusiliers)  (Attached)
 —  London Regiment, 1/1st Bn. (Royal Fusiliers)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
The Brewery, Poelcapelle, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Cement House Cemetery
Plot: 10
Row: A
Grave: 41

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private Henry John Hawkins, a 21-year-old labourer from East Ham, Essex was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele. Henry served in the London Regiment 1/1st Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), part of the 167th (1st London) Brigade, of the 56th (1st London) Division.

At the moment of his death Henry was attached to the London Regiment 2/3rd Battalion (Royal Fusiliers), of the 173rd Brigade, in the 58th (2/1st London) Division. The 2/3rd London Regiment took part in the Second Battle of Passchendaele on 26 October 1917.

The 58th Division attacked from the ruins of Poelcapelle towards Spider Crossroads and the hamlet of Spriet at 5.40 a.m. with the 173rd Brigade. The 173rd Brigade in turn advanced with the 2/2nd and the 2/3rd London Regiment. The 2/4th London Regiment was in support and the 2/1st was in reserve. The 2/3rd advanced to the Spider Crossroads, their first objective, where they came under heavy machine-gun fire. Here they came to a halt.

Between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. the Germans counterattacked on the left flank. The 57th Division on their left was forced back, leaving the Spider Crossroads exposed. At the same time another German counterattack from the sunken road between Papa Farm and Whitechapel, pushed the entire Division back to its original lines.

The war diary states that 2/3rd London Regiment went into battle with 15 officers and 616 other ranks. After the 26 October 1917 only 4 officers and 224 other ranks were still ready for duty. 11 officers and 392 other ranks had either been killed, wounded or went missing.

Henry John Hawkins, aged 21, was killed in action during the attack at the Spider Crossroads. He was buried in the field just outside the ruins of Poelcapelle near the Brewery. His remains were exhumed after the war and interred in Cement House Cemetery.

Files 1

Sources 6

Sources used
Sources used
Martin, D., Londoners on the Western Front : The 58th (2/1st London) Division in the Great War, 2014, 88-89.
Sources used
McCarthy,C., Passchendaele : The Day-by-Day account, 2018, 148.
Sources used
Naval and Military Archives
Sources used
The Long Long Trail
Sources used