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Flers- Courcelette tank battle 1916


The battle of Flers- Courcelette, on the Somme was the 1st tank battle and took place on 15 Sept 1916, they had only 50 tanks ready and the 7th Northumberland Fusiliers were allocated 2. A relative of mine, James Hawkins was a driver for the Straker family in Northumberland in civilian life and was the recruited into the 7th NF. James was born in Durham in 1876 and I would love to hear from anyone who can shed any more light on either the battle or James (Jim)

Apparently he was mentioned in Dispatches - does anyone know where I could find out why/what he did?

Many thanks in advance
Hi Paul

I dont know whether your still online but I believe I can assist with the family side of James Hawkins as my Grandmother is his Granddaughter.

I have recently been searching this side of the family as it has been easier to search other members first.

If this is the sames James Hawkins he died in 15/09/1916 in WW1 and was married to Annie (Anne) Hawkins who we believe only had one surving daughter Doris

I hope I am on the right track as they lived in Canada for a while but hopefully hear from you soon

Best Regards

Interesting reading about the first tanks, not very reliable by all accounts.

On Bargain Hunt today (repeat) Tim Wonacott had a WW1 tank drivers mask to protect him from the steel and paint shards that occured when bullets hit the tanks outside skin.

Glas I didnt have to drive one!