Frank Dawkins

Date of birth: January 1873
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment / Division: Royal Engineers
Service: RAF
Died: 11th October 1918 aged 46 years
Death location: Salisbury Infirmary


Life before the War
Frank attended Bevois Town Board School and Tauntons from 1886-1888.  Frank did not marry and lived with his parents Edward James and Edith Priscilla in Cromwell Road (1891, 1901 1911 census records).  Frank had an older brother Harry (a stoker in the Royal Navy) and two younger sisters, Edith and Kate.  The 1891 census shows that at 18 Frank was employed as a clerk at a shipbuilding yard.  By 1901 he was working as a civil engineer and by 1911 he had become an Inspector of Buildings with the Municipal Borough Council.


War Service
Frank joined the Royal Engineers and became a Lieutenant.  In August 1918, shortly before his death, Frank was granted a temporary commission as Lieutenant Grade A with the RAF and posted to RAF Lake Down, the Head Quarters of Altlantic Command Signals at Salisbury. Frank was killed when returning home from Lake Down in the sidecar of a motorcycle sent to collect him.  The motorbike collided with another vehicle on Devizes Road and Frank was thrown out of the sidecar.  He never regained consciousness and died at Salisbury Infirmary shortly after arrival.

Frank is commemorated on the Southampton Cenotaph and is buried at Southampton Old Cemetery.  His headstone bears the insignia of theFreemasons and an inscription (probably by his parents) “The beloved son of Edward and Edith Dawkins who was accidentally killed Oct 11th 1918 aged 46 years”. A photograph of Frank in uniform has recently been added.

Frank was entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.


Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s school:  1886 – 1888

Education & Employment:  Frank attended Bevois Town Board School before joining Taunton’s.  He worked as a clerk for a ship building yard, then as a civil engineer, and after that, as a buildings inspector for the Municipal Borough Council.

Life during the War:  Frank was a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers.  He lived with his family on Cromwell Road, Southampton.  Frank was attached to the Royal Air Force and worked at the headquarters of the RAF.  During the course of his duties he was involved in a motor accident in England and died at the infirmary in Salisbury.  He is buried in the Old Cemetery on Southampton Common.

Frank died on 11th October 1918 aged 46 years.


Researcher: Helen Wallbridge
Published: 29/12/2014

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.


One response to “Frank Dawkins

  1. Derek Morley

    I note your article concerning my great great uncle Frank Dawkins. I have some more info concerning him which you may want to add to the article.
    I fixed his photograph to the cross about two years ago having obtained the original from Tauntons. Have you been able to acquire any other info about his military service? He obtained an honorary rank of Lieutenant in 1915. Information obtained from London Gazette of June 1915. His pay grade left something to be desired though.
    How did you find out that he attended Bevois Town Board school? He was as you mentioned a freemason and attained the level of Grand Master. The medal card available on line states that he was not eligible for medals. I think HQACS stands for Head Quarters of Airfield Construction Service.
    You may have noticed that the grave next to his is that of his brother Harry.

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