Help please newbie Frederick Hopkins DLI died 26/5/1940

Discussion in '1940' started by Lynsey Gibson, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

    hi I'm looking for info on my great grandad
    Frederick Hopkins Durham light infantry died 26/5/1940 I think
    Section 122 on photos I found in dunkirk cemetery

    Any info or photos appreciated thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    This one?

    Service Number 4448944

    Died 26/05/1940

    Aged 34

    8th Bn. Durham Light Infantry

    Husband of Margaret Isabel Hopkins, of Hetton-le-Hole, Co. Durham.
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Lynsey

    The best and really only place to start research into your relative is to obtain their service record. You can only apply and receive these records from the MOD (nowhere else) and their link for them is - Requests for personal data and service records: a detailed guide these records will tell you when he joined, which units he was with and where he was sent. From these details its then possible to find the relevant War Diaires for those units and they will provide day to day details (hopefully) of what they did and where - we also have members who specialise in a ) the unit and b ) the area where your relative was killed so it should be possible to pin point him as regards where he was and perhaps how he died

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Frederick Hopkins
    Given Initials: F
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 26 May 1940
    Number: 4448944
    Birth Place: Durham (County)
    Residence: Durham (County)
    Regiment at Enlistment: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Death: Infantry

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  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    As TD says the best way forward on an individual is to obtain his/her service record from MOD.

    Perhaps a moderator could amend the topic title and move it into the 1940 sub forum please?

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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For some background details of DLI in France 1940 - France 1940

    I have alerted Mr Jinks to this thread

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  7. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    9 Bedale, Hetton U.D., Durham
    Margaret (I) Fulton (Hopkins) 16 Sep 1905 Unpaid Domestic
    Sorry, this record is officially closed.
    Catherine Elliott (Hopkins) 10 Jan 1931 At School
    Jean Horwood (Hopkins) 10 Nov 1935 Under School Age
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  8. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

    Thanks this is him, any other details ?
  9. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

    Wow thanks just trying to find out where he died as I've just visited Dday landings in France
  10. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Lynsey.

    The 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry were brigaded with the 6th and 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry, in the 151st Infantry Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

    The 50 Div were sent to Belgium/France as part of the BEF.

    The 8th Bn DLI had no wounded/killed until 20 May 1940, but were then in the thick of the action.

    The 151st Infantry Brigade led the Arras Counter-Attack, which threw the German forces off balance and is mentioned as the reason for Hitler’s ‘halt’ order (that effectively allowed so many of the BEF to be evacuated back to the UK); see link under ‘Arras’ for details:

    50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division - Wikipedia

    The 8th Bn’s part in the Arras Counter-Attack of 21 and 22 May 1940 proceeded from Vimy via Neuville St Waast, Maroeuil, Duisans, Warlus, Berneville, and retired the same route/similarly to Petit Vimy, eventually moving along Vimy Ridge to Givenchy.

    The latter was heavily bombed the following day and there were many casualties.

    At dawn on 24 May, the 8th Bn moved to Carvin via Petit Vimy, Rouvray and Henin-Leithard. They bedded down for the night in the nearby Bois d’Epinoy.

    The 8th Bn had only one casualty, an officer, on 25 May.

    The 26 May started with the 8th Bn being heavily shelled. They were then given orders to move to Ypres and marched off towards their pick-up point at Camphin. On the way they were saturation bombed by German bombers (rather than dive bombed by Stukas) and received many casualties.

    Carvin was held by a French Algerian Division who, it was reported by a staff officer of the 46th Infantry Division, had been overrun. The 151st Infantry Brigade Major gave permission for the 8th Bn to remedy matters by returning and counter-attacking Carvin, and that is what the 8th Bn did. Within 40 minutes and with the support from some British tanks, it marched into Carvin and recaptured it. However, this was easily done as the French Algerian Division was still present in Carvin, albeit some Germans had managed to cross the only intact canal bridge. There were quite a few casualties amongst the Bn from German shelling during the ‘attack’, with around 20 men alone in ‘D’ Company being hit.

    The Battalion history (see link) says that your Great Grandfather ‘Died Of Wounds’ and I suggest that he received those wounds on one of the aforementioned dates/actions; link:

    8th Battalion the Durham Light Infantry 1939-1945 2004: P. J. Lewis, I. R. English: Books

    Although he is only remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial, i.e. he has no known grave, there is mention on some CWGC cemetery details of ‘unidentified’ burials. See this example from the Carvin Community Cemetery:

    Also, if you enlarge the map in the above link, you can identify most of the places mentioned in my ramblings; and I hope you find this helpful.


    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  12. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

    Thanks very much appreciate this!
  13. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

  14. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The service number for Pte Hopkins `4448944` comes from Army Form B 358 the enlistment book for The Durham Light Infantry, (Book no. 14,) covering the numbers 4448001 - 4449000 covering the enlistment period between 24th January 1930 and 7th May 1931. As the number is at the end of the run it appears he enlisted in 1931.
    Enquiries were made into the `Missing Men` Pte Hopkins was eventually listed as Cat D 26th May 1940` The War Diary recorded the 8th at Armentieres were they were dive bombed with casualties `D` Company with drew under heavy shell fire and suffered 18 killed/wounded. (DLI 1920-46)

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  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    8th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry 1939-1945 (Majors PJ Lewis and I R English) has the whole 8th Battalion in Carvin, with orders to move to Ypres only being received at 2.30 am on 27 May 1940. It has them passing through Armentieres en route to Ypres, with them in place at the Ypres Canal at 4.30 pm.


  16. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    I was only sent two of the original pages from the diary made in the field. The reconstituted diary ,all neatly typed,has lots of additional details.This one I assume was scribbled down along the route?

    original8thdli.jpg original8thdlia.jpg

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  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Looks like the diary was written-up all in one go after the return to the UK, Kyle. That said, it is not inconsistent with the 8th Battalion history, as there were orders to move issued on 26 May and indeed, the move was started. However, due to the local threat in Carvin and Provin, the 8th and 9th Bns Durham Light Infantry were sent to assist the French troops in these locations. Note the handwritten diary still shows them in Carvin on the whole of the 26 May and not in Armentieres.

    The Path Of The 50th (Clay) reveals:


    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  18. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hello Steve,
    I do not have access to any other documents at present and do not doubt the battalion were at Carvin however the hand written version I posted does not have them at Carvin on the 26th May only the 24th May ? I just posted as I read it and without knowing which document came first I cannot comment on a definitive explanation /location/destination? It maybe that Pte Hopkins was not with the battalion at the time of his disappearance/death. There's no definitive answer to be found in the 'missing men' file (or what survived from that file)


  19. Lynsey Gibson

    Lynsey Gibson Member

    Wow these notes are fab, can I get copies anywhere?

    Thanks Lynsey
  20. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hi Lynsey,

    Just click on the image and print it? Or save to your computer :)

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