b. 1822 Witham, Essex. d. 14/08/1858 Faizabad, India.
David Hawkes (1822-1858) was born in Witham, Essex in 1822. He enlisted with the Rifle Brigade, and was part of the Indian Mutiny campaign throughout 1857-1858.
On 11th March 1858, during the assault on Lucknow, Captain Wilmot had led a charge on a large body of the enemy and found himself at the end of the street with just four men, including William Nash and David Hawkes. Private Hawkes was severely wounded already, when another of the men was shot through both legs, and disabled. At this point both Nash and the wounded Hawkes, picked the man up and carried him to safety, whilst Captain Wilmot used their discarded rifles to open fire on the enemy to provide cover.
Tragically, Hawkes would not live long enough to hear news of the award of his VC (24th December 1858) or even receive the medal himself. He was killed in action later that year on 14th August 1858 at Faizabad. His body was not recovered from the battlefield. His medal was posted to his father after its award. His medal is now held by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FITZWILLIAM COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
BURIAL PLACE: BODY NEVER RECOVERED.
IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE
Rifle Brigade Memorial, Winchester
The images of both sides of the Hawkes VC courtesy of Damien Wright