Private Lawrence Douglas Hawkins

Born 24th March 1924.

He was a messenger for the 57th Surrey (Mitcham) Home Guards, then at 18 he joined up and became a machine gunner in the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, service number 14415852.

Reported as missing believed to be a Prisoner of War on 1st June 1944, during the Allied Invasion of Italy.

He was a Prisoner Of War at Stalag VIIIB, later renumbered Stalag 344, Lamsdorf. For more details on this camp, see the website www.lamsdorf.com. He was part of “The Long March” – the movement of POWs westward as Soviet forces approached. He marched for four months from Poland through Southern Germany, around a thousand miles through the coldest continental winter of the 20th century in the clothes they were standing in.

His story is told in an Amazon Kindle e-Book Lambeth to Lamsdorf : Doug Hawkins’ War

Robin Green, the book’s author, wrote that Doug Hawkins spent his early life in Lambeth and Mitcham. Doug’s son said in a review of the book:

Doug was my dad.

He never really spoke of his war experiences until my mum died in 2001.

He played bowls with the author and one day when my dad was recalling some of his war time memories and especially the Long March.

Robin offered to write it down. Over many weeks they met at Dad’s home and I know Robin’s research was extensive, including talking to Dad’s regiment who were able to corroborate where necessary.

Robin finished his work before Dad’s memories were lost due to dementia.

In the 1960s, Lawrence D. Hawkins lived with his wife Mavis at 193 Morden Road, Mitcham.

He died in 2016 in Basingstoke.

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