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HAWKER, Reginald Edmund (1896-1917) – Sergeant, Rifle Brigade

Sergeant Reginald Edmund Hawker was born and baptized in Badsey but is not listed on the Badsey War Memorial.  His name is recorded, though, on the memorial in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Charlton, near Pershore.

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Reginald Hawker was born at Badsey on 27th April 1896, the eldest of four children of Martin John and Jane Hawker (née Hooper).  His father, Martin John (known as John), had spent some time living in Aldington in the 1880s when his father worked as a shepherd.  Whilst the family had left Aldington by 1891, 21-year-old John was lodging in Badsey working as a gardener.  He married Jane Hooper in 1895 in the Kidderminster area and they made their first home in Badsey where Reginald was born.

By 1897 the family had moved to Charlton near Pershore; three more children were born in Charlton. At the time of the 1901 census, Reginald was staying with his grandparents, Henry and Emma Hooper, at Kidderminster.  In 1911 he was working as a house and garden boy, in the employ of the Reverend Clement Ernest Newcomb, and living at Charlton Vicarage, Pershore.

During the First World War, Reginald was living in Kensington when he enlisted at Kensington with the 9th Battalion Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Brigade (No S/30415).

Sergeant Hawker was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 in France.  He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, and on the memorial in the Church of St John the Evangelist, Charlton.  His younger brother, Arthur Percy, is also commemorated on the memorial.  Arthur did not die until 1921, after the war had ended, but he had been invalided out of the army and his death was as a result of the war.