Signalman - Royal Navy - HMS Asphodel - Service No. C/JX 232016
Norman William Hawkey was born on 4th February 1911 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was William Henry Hawkey, who died before Norman was born in September 1910, and his mother was Florence (née Tunbridge). The first school that he attended was Miss Pizzi’s in Parrock Street, Gravesend.
In 1921 Norman Hawkey joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was Henry F A Wigley, who was succeeded by the Reverend Samuel Lister in 1924. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Eduvcation). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Norman’s address as 33 Lynton Road South, Gravesend.
In 1927 Norman left the School and went to King’s College, London where he gained an Inter BA. In the 1939 Census he is listed as living with his widowed mother at 33 Lynton Road South and working as an East India Merchant’s Clerk. He worked in the clerical department of Messer’s Wallace Brothers and Co. Ltd at Crosby Square EC3 – Bombay & Burma Merchants.
Norman enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Signalman, Service Number C/JX 232016, and was assigned to H.M.S. Asphodel. On the 9th March 1944, HMS Asphodel was sunk by U-boat U-575 while escorting a convoy off Cape Finistere, there were 5 survivors out of 97 crew. Norman Hawkey died age 33. He is remembered at Chatham Naval Memorial 76, 3.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: