Sgt Thomas Hopkinson Reconnaissance Corps 5th (3rd Bn. the Tower Hamlets Rifles) Regt.

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by noggin1969, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Rank: Serjeant

    Service No: 4969574

    Date of Death: 24/08/1942

    Age: 22

    Regiment at Enlistment: Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)

    Regiment/Service: Reconnaissance Corps 5th (3rd Bn. the Tower Hamlets Rifles) Regt.

    Grave Reference: Plot 1. Row D. Grave 12.


    Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Sarah Hopkinson, of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

    Any details on this man or what they were doing in Ghana. I assume accident or illness as c.o.d. due to the RAF transport hub there. Did not help with the local paper announcing the death of the wrong Thomas Hopkinson at the time either.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    As you say, a burial in Ghana is interesting, according to the following the regiment was on a ship at the time, sailing from Bombay to Basrah [Basra].

    From 'Only the enemy in front':-
    "On 3 February 1941, the recently formed 3rd Tower Hamlets Rifles became 5th Battalion, The Recce Corps under Lt Col N R Blockley of the RB. The following month the battalion moved to Loughgall, County Armargh and took part in a valuable series of exercises in Northern Ireland before returning to England in early 1942 to 'mobilise for overseas service in a tropical climate.' At the end of March the battalion sailed in a convoy from Glasgow to South Africa. While 5th Division took part in operations against the Vichy French in Mozambique the battalion remained on board HMS Almanzora. The division then sailed for India, berthing at Bombay on 19 May from where it moved to Ranchi in Bihar province, some 200 miles from Calcutta.
    Fifth Division had been intended to 'strike immediately at any Japanese force attempting an invasion of Bengal' but its stay in India was short and on 15 August 5 Recce were back in Bombay embarking on HMT Rohna, their new destination was Basrah in the Persian Gulf where they disembarked ten days later."

    I wonder if he was serving with a different regiment - have you got his service records?
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  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    He is not listed in 'This Band of Brothers' as a 5 Recce casualty but is included in the 'Reconnaissance Journal - Memorial Number' book.
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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  6. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Newark Advertiser reported 9/9/1942 Sgt Thomas Hopkinson , 34 , Sherwood Foresters , adopted son of Annie Cocking of Elgin Place , Newark died of Black Water Fever. However it was the wrong one this Sgt Thomas Hopkinson survived the war and married Phyllis Hammock in Newark 1948. So I think 4969574 Hopkinson died of the complication of Malaria.
  7. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Sgt Thomas Hopkinson
    Hopkinson T.jpg
  8. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    "Blackwater fever is most prevalent in Africa and Southeast Asia. Individuals with increased susceptibility, such as nonimmune immigrants or individuals who are chronically exposed to malaria, are classic sufferers from the complication. Blackwater fever seldom appears until a person has had at least four attacks of malaria and has been in an endemic area for six months." taken from the medical Britannica. Looks as though he could have been ill for some time. Wonder if HMS Almanzora went into port at Ghana or he was removed from the ship while heading to South Africa.
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  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Thomas Hopkinson
    Given Initials: T
    Rank: Serjeant
    Death Date: 24 Aug 1942
    Number: 4969574
    Birth Place: Nottingham
    Residence: Nottingham
    Regiment at Enlistment: Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Armoured Corps
    Theatre of War: West Africa
    Regiment at Death: Reconnaissance Corps

    Branch at Death: Royal Armoured Corps

    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Name: Thomas Hopkinson
    Age: 22
    Birth Date: abt 1920

    Death Date: 24 Aug 1942
    Cemetery: Christiansborg War Cemetery Accra Gha 1
    Burial Country: Ghana
    Father: Thomas Hopkinson
    Mother: Sarah Hopkinson
    Regimental Number: 4969574
    Region or Memorial: Ghana

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  10. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member


    Well that has confused it , gives the service number of the Thomas Hopkinson buried in Ghana but the age of the Thomas Hopkinson that the local paper wrote the death notice for.
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  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Noggin

    Dont know the answer to that one however at a guess I would suspect that someone who is 22 would be very unlikely to have made the rank of Serjeant, someone who is 34 who fit the bill better.

    To muddy the waters further
    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Thomas Hopkinson
    Registration Year: 1908
    Registration Quarter: Jul-Aug-Sep
    Registration district: Newark
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Nottinghamshire
    Volume: 7b
    Page: 515

    This would make him 34 in 1942 and he is from Newark as his parents are noted as living. I can find no more records on him or who is parents are

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  12. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Thank s TD , that is Sgt Thomas Hopkinson , 34 , Sherwood Foresters reported in the Newark Advertiser 9/9/1942 , adopted son of Annie Cocking of Elgin Place , Newark died of Black Water Fever in West Africa as the DC states. Although no other Thomas Hopkinson is listed with 34 as an age or with the RAC. Think I'm going to have to give the MOD £30 to clear it up.
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  13. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Have been trying to identify your man but can I ask what information you have to know for certain which Thomas married Phyllis?
  14. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Phyllis K Hammocks changed to
    [Phyllis K Hopkinson] married 1948 on 1939 file
    Gender: Female
    Marital status: Married
    Birth Date: 29 Jan 1912
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 44a Northgate ( not far from where Elgin Place was )
    Residence Place: Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
    Occupation: Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Name: Phyllis K Hammocks
    Registration Date: Jan 1948
    [Feb 1948]
    [Mar 1948]
    Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
    Registration district: Newark
    Inferred County: Nottinghamshire
    Spouse: Hopkinson
    Also local paper entry saying Sherwood Forester later R.A.C , although checking Ancestry there are 2 Thomas Hopkinson's one born in 1908 and another 1911. Hopkinson is a fairly common name and quite prevalent in town. So maybe the Advertiser got the right one and the CWGC have it wrong. I've ordered his military file from the MOD
  15. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Think I've sorted one bit of the puzzle Thomas was the son of Thomas and Sarah Hopkinson as grave stone states. Checked on the adopted son of Annie Cocking bit , turned out her maiden name was Hopkinson sister of Thomas senior. Looks like the son and adopted son bit ties in and CWGC have the wrong age. Phyllis K Hammocks married the other Thomas Hopkinson born 1911 who also served in the SF.
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  16. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member


    1908 - 1942 making him 34 , mother Sarah father T Hopkinson Tenters Buildings , back to back housing next to Elgin Place Annie Cocking nee Hopkinson lived. Got to be our man and the CWGC have it wrong. Will have to wait for his service records now.
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  17. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Another lead is that Thomas (1908) looks like he had a brother, George Edwin born Q1 1905 Newark, the mother's maiden name is Hartley. The inscription on his headstone is "In remembrance of my brother. Till we meet again. George"
  18. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Think that seals it , just his service records to sort , then find out why he was in Ghana.

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