Rank: Private 38011, previously 4587
Regiment: 1st Garrison Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry; 5th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Sidney Hawker was born in 1880, the fourth son of James Hawker, a railway labourer, and his wife Harriet. His birthplace is recorded as Whitford on the 1881 census, but Shute in his army record.
On 29 May 1907 he married Harriett Dunsfold in Axminster. They had two sons, Alfred and Gerald, who were both born in Beer (as was Harriett). At the time of the 1911 census they lived at 1 Church Court, Beer, but when Sidney joined the army they were living at 2 Highfield Terrace.
Sidney joined up on 6 June 1916. His army record describes him as 5ft 5ins tall.
He initially joined the 5th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, but was then posted to the 2/4th Battalion, and on 4 November 1916 left for India, where the battalion was sent to Madras. On 5 October 1917, while still in India, he was transferred to 1st Garrison Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (the Ox and Bucks).
On 14 December 1917 he was given three days ‘confined to barracks’ as a punishment for the heinous crime of having an untidy bed.
On his return journey to England after the war Sidney was taken ill and admitted to hospital in Port Said in Egypt on 31 October 1919, but his army record does not record the reason. He was eventually discharged from the army in London on 21 January 1920, and returned to his home in Highfield Terrace.
Sidney died in 1968, aged 87.
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