Cpl Gerald Hawkins, 13th Fd Coy

Cpl Gerald Hawkins
Gradara War Cemetery, Italy

Gerald Hawkins was born in Lloydminster, SK in 1910, the son of Francis Herbert and Olive Hawkins.  He grew up in Lloydminster and had completed public school (Grade VIII). He later moved to Edmonton, Alberta and worked as a plumber’s helper for the H Farris Company.  He was married to Florence May Hawkins when he enlisted in July 1941. He was enrolled as a Reinforcement Royal Canadian Engineers and sent to Camp Vernon, British Columbia for three months of basic training before being sent to A-6 RCE Training Centre in Dundurn, Saskatchewan in October where he completed his advanced training. He was shipped to the United Kingdom in December.  He reported to the 13th Field Company in March 1942.  During his training in Canada, he qualified as a Waterman Group ‘C’ and Plumbers Helper Group ‘C’. He was appointed Acting Lance Corporal in November 1942 and Lance Corporal in March 1943.

Lance Corporal Hawkins arrived in Italy in November 1943.  His company was assigned to I Canadian Corps troops and would have been employed in road and bridge building, often improving or replacing roads and bridges hastily installed by divisional engineers.  On the night of 6 and 7 September, the 13th Field Company was working along the Foglia River which was under flood at the time and under fire from German artillery. Corporal Hawkins was wounded and died later on 7 September, three days after having been promoted Acting Corporal.  He was 34 years old and left a wife and two sons.  He is buried in the Gradara Cemetery.

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