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Remembered Today:

Determining exact location of a wounding in 63rd RND battle


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Colin - That would be great and I look forward to seeing potentially first hand accounts of your fathers time with the Hawke Battalion .

I have a brief outline of my grandads time on the front line but to fill in some of the gaps with a bit more detail is really important to me  as I said earlier he never spoke at all about his time there even to my mum who is equally interested in what I can find out .


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Good Morning Neil,

Please see below a few pages from my fathers field book.

Picture 1- The front page identifying my father as Sub - LT Guy Charlton Vokins . Next to that the page dated the 18th about events leading to the 25th August 1918 when he was wounded.

Picture 2- A sketch plan of  Loupart Wood

Picture 3- Seems to relate to action plan

Picture 4- This refers to armaments and missing PO Brown

Picture 5- Page written by Sub-LT Willison on 13th August 1918 I include this as when my father was injured Willison tended his wounds before pressing forward and loosing his own life on the 25th August 1918.

Picture 6- Refers to a page when father was OC.A.Company

Numerous pages have been torn out of the book I hope you find the attached of interest.






All Photos - 1 of 1 (1).jpeg

All Photos - 1 of 1 (2).jpeg

All Photos - 1 of 1 copy.jpeg

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Hello Colin

This is brilliant to get first hand experiences of what went on - all of them are heroes for going through what they did .

Last year I went all round the area and Villers-Plouich (where my grandfather was with Nelson battalion in 1917 and was wounded for the first time) following in my grandfather’s footsteps I found it really atmospheric and overwhelming at times .

Again Thankyou for this 

Best regards


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@Colin Guy Vokins I have been following with great interest your contributions to the Hawke Batatlion/Loupart Wood operations.

The Hawke company command arrangements remain a bit unclear. We have, in the notebook pages you posted, on ‘C’ Coy Orders of 13 August, 9.20 pm, the signature of Sub Lt Willison as OC ‘C’ Coy. We also have your father writing to his family on 20 August that he was OC ‘C’ Coy on (and possibly before) that date.

The information from Douglas Jerrold’s “The Hawke Battalion”, clearly places Sub Lieutenant  Perceval Beaumont in command of ‘C’ coy from late March and as Acting Lieutenant from 18 April. He was still OC ‘C’ Coy for the RND’s attack on the Drocourt-Quéant Line on 2 September. However, Lt Beaumont missed the 25 August action. He had been granted two weeks leave to UK from 13-27August (later extended by a few days) but Jerrold places him back with ‘C’ Coy in early September.

In his absence on leave it would probably fall on one of his platoon commanders to act as company commander and your father may well have (briefly) taken on these duties. Jerrold notes (p.200 footnote) that Sub Lieutenant Walter Leigh Willison “…led ‘C’ Company with great distinction in the attack on Le Barque [LoupartWood].”.  Willison (April 1917) was only one month junior to Lt Beaumont (March 1917) as a Sub Lt and both officers had many months of previous battle experience with Nelson Battalion. Your father’s seniority (30 January 1918) and very limited battle experience would make him an unlikely choice for company command in action but he may well have acted in that capacity when Hawke Bn was out of the line. This may also explain his ‘A’ Coy note on 27 July when the Hawkes were, again, out of the line.

Sorry there is no definitive answer but I hope this helps.

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One other clue shows up in the Hawke war diary for 20 August:     

"SOUASTRE ... 5pm ... Commanding Officer and Company Commanders went forward to reconnoitre assembly position.  9pm ... Battalion left RED LINE and marched under Second in Command to F.20a." Presumably company commanders were also absent from this march  and Sub Lt Vokins could well have led 'C' Coy forward in the absence of Sub Lt Willison.

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