Edwin Hewkin was born in Whittington in 1892 and baptised at Old Whittington church in April 1892. His parents were Samuel and Emma and they lived at Sheepbridge.
At the time of the baptism the Hewkin family were living at Sheepbridge. After checking on the 1891 census the family were living at 161 Sheffield Road Whittington and Samuel is listed as a grocer. Interestingly, at number 160 lived Samuels parents George, who is listed as a disabled miner and his wife Caroline.
The 1891 census shows that Edwin would have had three older sisters when he was born in 1892, Leonora, Evelyn and Ada.
There are no school records for Edwin but his younger siblings attended Unstone Council school and then Peter Websters Endowed school on Whittington Moor, perhaps Edwin followed a similar path!
The 1901 census shows the family now living at 157 Sheffield Road, grocers shop. Although Edwins father is now a Tailors Assistant.
Edwins older sister Leonora had left home and at 16 years old was working as a servant in the household of Fred Ashmore, cab proprietor at 78 Newbold road. Edwin now has two younger brothers and another sister.
Edwins father, Samuel, died in March 1909 and by the time of the 1911 census the family have moved to 38 Compton Street Chesterfield. Tailoring appeared to be the family business as Edwins mother Emma is now listed as working for herself as a Tailors, his older sister Evelyn is a dressmaker and Edwin at 19 years old is listed as a Tailors Traveller (after reading an obituary for Edwin this may have meant he was a Commercial traveller for the family drapery business).
There was happy news for the family in 1911 when Edwins older sister Leonora married William H Nunney.
According to a Derbyshire Times obituary, Edwin was very well known and held the Heavyweight Championships for Derbyshire and Yorkshire and several gold medals for unbeaten records.
On 23rd October 1915 Edwin went to Sheffield to enlist, he joined the Yorkshire and Lancashire regiment 2/4th Hallamshire (TF) Battalion and his Service Number was 202388. At the time of enlisting Edwins address was given as 22 Woodstock Road Sheffield. Luckily, Edwins Service record does still exist, he was 23 years and 8 months when he enlisted and stood 5ft 5 ¼”.
This was a Territorial Force, he agreed in the case of National Emergency to serve in any place outside of the United Kingdom. This would have entitled him to wear the Imperial Service Badge.
Copy of Edwins Imperial Service declaration.
Everything points to him being in the 2/4th Battalion, but the 2/4th consisted of the men who did not sign to serve overseas, the signed form above shows that Edwin was prepared to serve overseas and should have been in the 1/4th. Strangely he wasn’t sent overseas until January 1917 the same time as the 2/4th Battalion was sent on active service!
At some point Edwin transferred to a Light Trench Mortar Battery attached to 187th Brigade 62nd Division.
A Light trench Mortar Battery consisted of :
Captain, 3 Lieutenants or Second Lieutenants, 2 Sergeants, 8 Corporals or Lance-Corporals, 32 Privates, 4 Batmen. (2 Sections, each of four 3-inch Stokes mortars)
More information on the Stokes Mortar can be found at
From January 1917 Edwin would have been involved in some heavy fighting and the Division took part in the following Battles:
The operation on the Ancre ( 15th February-13th March)
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (14th-19th March)
The First Attack on Bullecourt (part of the Arras Offensive) 11th April
The German attack on Lagnicourt (part of the Arras offensive) 15th April
The Battle of Bullecourt (part of the flanking operations around Arras) 3rd – 17th May
Information on the Battle of Arras can be found here http://ww1centenary.oucs.ox.ac.uk/battle-of-arras/the-battle-of-arras-an-overview/
I can’t be definite about the actions Edwin was involved in, but he was presumed dead on 3rd May 1917, he was 25 years old.
Edwins body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Arras memorial, which commemorates nearly 35,000 soldiers with no known graves, most of who were killed in the Battle of Arras
Arras Picture courtesy of CWGC
Derbyshire Times report from 19th May1917
The grave registration for Edwin shows that Edwin’s family were now living at Totley Rise in Sheffield.
Edwins sister, Evelyn wrote to the War Office several times to ask for Edwins personal effects, but obviously there would be none to find. It must have been very distressing for her and the whole family to come to terms with.
Edwin was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
He is commemorated on Old Whittington and the Brushes War Memorials.
In 1919 the army required a form to be completed listing Edwins relatives. His sister Leonora lived at Stonegravels Chesterfield and died in 1933. Youngest brother Leonard was serving with the Army. Evelyn and Beatrice were still living with their mother at ‘Bella Vista’ in Sheffield, Samuel was married and living at Bramall Lane in Sheffield and Ada was living at Attercliffe.
Edwins mother died in 1936.