View Full Version : H.G. Hawker - His Life and Work

31st Jan 2012, 11:21
For those interested, Harry Hawker's biography, written by his wife Muriel, is now out of copyright.
Can be read online here:

H. G. Hawker, airman: his life and work (http://www.archive.org/stream/hghawkerairmanhi00hawkrich#page/n9/mode/2up)

or PDF download here:

H. G. Hawker, airman: his life and work : Hawker, Muriel : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/hghawkerairmanhi00hawkrich)

Recent news here!
Time to recall a hero of the air who lived in Surbiton (From Surrey Comet) (http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/9496299.Time_to_recall_Harry_Hawker__a_hero_of_the_air/)

3rd Feb 2012, 20:19
Can you post the link to the other article on Hawker which was published the next day please. :)

4th Feb 2012, 09:48
I'm trying to find it too! Standby . . . although I can't imagine what the 'secret' might be! Interesting press cutting - with eye-witness statements - from the New York Times, here
HARRY HAWKER DIES AS PLANE EXPLODES - Daring Atlantic Flier, Once Rescued in Midocean, Meets HisFate on English Field.TRIED ATLANTIC HOP IN 1919First Air Crossing by AmericanNavy and Direct Flight byAlcock Also Made Then. - View Article - NYTimes.com (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C05E3DD173EEE3ABC4B52DFB166838A639EDE)

8th Feb 2012, 21:33
A copy of the Air Ministry's Accident Investigation Branch report on Hawker's fatal crash is included in Lew Blackmore's biography of Hawker published in 1990:).

Kieron Kirk
9th Feb 2012, 11:46
The AIB report was marked "secret" and stamped "Not to be released for 50 years".


John Farley
9th Feb 2012, 14:06
Back in the 70s I asked the head of flight test at Dunsfold (a man for whom I had the highest regard) about Harry Hawker's accident. He said that the most likely thing was that Hawker got ill in flight from a known pre-existing condition.

I don't know what the AIB report said.

I have read his widow's book and can well understand why she wrote what she did about the accident.

Kieron Kirk
9th Feb 2012, 15:26

The AIB report is available to view in the Kew archives.

5(a): "That the accident was due to fire in the air caused by the escape of petrol through the unscrewed cover of the bottom carburetter and subsequent ignition by the exhaust gases."

5(B): "That the pilot succeeded in subduing or putting out the flames but was unable to properly control the aeroplane when landing owing to physical disability caused by burns and spinal hemorrhage."


John Farley
9th Feb 2012, 19:06
Thank you Ciarain.

The spinal hemorrhage info is very interesting.



10th Feb 2012, 20:25
Harry Hawker suffered from tuberculosis of the spine. The autopsy report states that an abscess near the spine had burst.

I believe it is more than likely that the abscess burst in the crash and that the fire was the cause of the crash. Hawker rode to the aerodrome on a motorcycle which would probably not have been possible with a painful spine.

In many years of collecting I have seen very few Harry Hawker autographs. I have copies of these books: Hawker by Blackmore, Our Atlantic Attempt by Hawker and Muriel Hawker's biography of her husband. Does anyone know of other books about Hawker? :)

Kieron Kirk
11th Feb 2012, 13:43
"Harry Hawker suffered from tuberculosis of the spine".

Photographs of Harry Hawker taken post WW1 suggest a noticeable stoop compared to those taken earlier in his life.

This condition, known as "Pott's disease" can cause curvature of the spine.


18th Feb 2012, 12:51
As a latecomer to this site I was intrigued by your "EMail"concerning scarcity of material regarding Hawker.In over 40 years of collecting cricket "memorabilia",I have from time to time bought other things that have intrigued me,of which,one,was a menu of a congratulatory lunch given to Hawker & Mackenzie-Grieve by the "Royal Aero Club" at the "Savoy Hotel",London,on Friday,30th.May,1919,under the Chairman,Brigadier General Sir Capel Holden,K.C.B.,F.R.S.
I thought you may be interested in the menu (minus accents etc.,as I have no idea how to work the keyboard competently!),viz.,
Barquettes Hawker,
OEfs poches Mackenzie Grieve,
Supreme de Sole Atlantique,
Poulet Reine Sopwith,
Salade Southern Cross,
Timbale de Fraises Northcliffe,
Gateau Danois,
Not bad,eh?,but it gets better with the wine list:
Graves superieur,
Chat.Brown Cantenac 1914,
Moet & Chandon
Brut Imperial1911,
Denis Mounie,40 years old,
Almost worth going through what they did for this lot!
The menu is in pretty good condition and is signed in pencil by both pilots.
Unfortunately,my collecting days are over ,and I am slowly going through the heartbreaking process of selling some 50 years of accumulated "jumble" on "EBay" -so I am afraid this will appear on it one day!
I hope this was of some interest to you,Kind regards,

19th Feb 2012, 00:27
There is a picture on Page 282 of Harry Hawker's biography - link here once more

H. G. Hawker, airman: his life and work (http://www.archive.org/stream/hghawkerairmanhi00hawkrich#page/n9/mode/2up)

- which I think was taken at this very luncheon!

19th Feb 2012, 08:15
Thanks Michael for sharing the contents of the menu.

Certainly different times and quite amazing fare. :)

Grantlee Kieza
15th Aug 2012, 06:58
I visited Harry Haker's grave in Hook Rd a few weeks ago and someone had placed a model plane by his headstone in tribute.

Here's the link to the pic


And here's some footage from his funeral with Tommy Sopwith among the mourners

THE LAST TRIBUTE - British Pathé (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-last-tribute-3)

18th Aug 2012, 20:49
The little shrine at Moorabbin Airport to Hawker is not well looked after.

Probably needs a volunteer who knows who he was to take an interest.

Today on the airport SFA would give a tinker's curse.

Harry Hawker - Monument Australia (www.monumentaustralia.org.au) (http://monumentaustralia.org.au/monument_display.php?id=32691&image=0)