Are you related to Reginald George Hopkins, 1910-1940?

During the second world war many airmen of the Allies died in action in the skies over France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Next year, on 28 April 2024, the people in the town of Maubeuge in France are going to open a memorial to the 114 airmen from Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA and France who died. They are expecting visitors from these countries to attend the opening, including a group from Wantage.

In France, there is a small team of people who have carried out extensive research on this topic. They have been in touch with people in and around Wantage, and are trying to learn more of an airman from Hanney called Reginald George Hopkins. Hopkins was born in Burford and is commemorated on the board inside Hanney War Memorial Hall and commemorated on the war memorial inside St James the Great Parish Church in West Hanney.

In Find My Past there is an enlistment record for Reginald Hopkins. The record shows he was a pre-war RAF apprentice probably at RAF Halton. Sgt Hopkins was in a Blenheim from 15 Squadron which crashed on 18 May 1940. The other persons in the aircraft were Squadron Leader Hector Lawrence and Leading Aircraftman Edward Levi Harvard Thomas.

Reginald Hopkins was born on 2 April 1910 at Fulbrook near Burford and died on the 18 May 1940. His father was Clement Charles Hopkins and his mother Edith Hopkins. He had slightly loose connections to Hanney, even though he is commemorated there. Reginald Hopkins joined the RAF on 2 October 1928. He married Myra Martin from Darlington in 1937 in Abingdon. His widowed mother was housekeeper at Grange Farm in North Denchworth and Myra was a domestic servant there as well. North Denchworth and Grange Farm come under Hanney.

I am very pleased to acknowledge the work of Trevor Hancock, Jim Sibbald, Dickon Green and Louise Green. Most of the information in this article was the result of their investigations.

If you have any further information on Reginald or his family, can you please send an email to penny.post.events@gmail.com. I am in touch with the French team planning the commemoration in 2024 and will pass it on.

If you would like to be part of the commemoration in 2024, please send me an email at penny.post.events@gmail.com

Attending the opening of the memorial in Maubeuge will be a memorable experience for the visitors, and it’s a way to pay tribute to the brave airmen who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the history of the Second World War and the role played by the airmen who lost their lives in the skies over France. This will help participants to appreciate the significance of the memorial and the sacrifice of the fallen airmen.

There is a web site which contains detailed information on the airmen: aviateursavesnois.free.fr

Alistair Mills

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