Arthur Ward Hawkins

Arthur Ward Hawkins

One of Brantford's youngest officers in the Canadian Army, Capt. Arthur Ward Hawkins, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Hawkins, 34 Lincoln Ave., had a record of service that far outmatched his youth and made him one of the city's most promising soldiers. Capt. Hawkins seemed destined for a military career. During his Collegiate Institute days, he was an officer in the Cadet Corps and when he was 17 years old, enlisted with the 2/10 Dragoons (Reserve) and was awarded a commission as a lieutenant. In 1941 he enrolled at the Officers' Training School at Brockville and further trained at Camp Borden, Sussex and Debert, going overseas in April, 1942, as a reserve officer, at that time the youngest officer from Canada. He was invited by Major R. Bruce Kerr to join the Ontario Tank Regiment and with it as part of the First Canadian Division took part in the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. He fought through the next 38 days into Italy and through the long subsequent campaign with the British 8th Army. By a strange coincidence there appeared in a Toronto paper, on June 21, 1944, a story from a war correspondent describing the advance of the British 8th as he saw it from a hill overlooking Lake Trasimeno. When the correspondent moved down the hill, the first officer to greet him was Capt. Hawkins. On the day that story appeared in print, Capt. Hawkins lost his life. An indication of the confidence his superiors placed in him was his assignment to train Polish troops from the Holy Land for the battle of Cassino, and the magnificent job they did reflected great credit on their instructor. He had also officially been slated for his majority. Now Capt. Hawkins lies buried at Orvieto, Italy. Born in Brantford, February 23, 1922, Ward (or Bud as he was called) received his education at St. Basil's School and the Collegiate Institute. He was a member of St. Basil's Church. He was employed at S. C. Johnson and Son, Ltd.

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