On Sunday 18th July, some of the heritage team attended a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s church, Hook. It was held on the anniversary of the internment of the pioneering aviator - and Hook resident - Harry Hawker MBE AFC.
Reverend Luke Wickings led the ceremony and tribute to Hawker at Hawker’s graveside. Three of Harry Hawker’s granddaughters were in attendance from Australia and one of them unveiled the new sign by the grave. Reverend Wickings then led prayers of thanksgiving and a blessing.
Madeline Child, the archivist at St. Paul’s church, was thanked for all her work on the sign. The sign is next to Hawker’s grave which gave little clue to the pioneering work and life of Harry Hawker other than explaining he gave his life to the science of aviation. The sign features a photograph of Hawker and a Sopwith Camel and a few paragraphs describing Hawker’s life and his outstanding contribution to aviation.
Hawker’s grave, and the new sign, are in the graveyard of St. Paul’s church, Hook, clearly visible from the road. The site of the house that Hawker lived in from 1917 with his wife and young family is across the road from the church on the corner of what is now Hawkhurst Gardens.