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Photo of Herbert Edwin Hawtin

Herbert Edwin Hawtin

Assistant Section Manager
Birthplace Oxfordshire Beckley EnglandPlace of Residence at HM Factory Gretna Staff Accommodation Date of Birth: August 18, 1881 Date of Death: September 19, 1951


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Herbert Edwin Hawtin.

Gender: Male

Date and Place of Birth: 18 August 1881, Beckley Oxon.

Date and Place of Death: 19 September 1951, Wallingford.

Nationality: English


Childhood: Was brought up in the St Thomas district of Oxford. 


Parents: Edwin Herbert Hawtin, Frances Hulet.


Parent’s occupations: Edwin Herbert Hawtin; Police Superintendent.


Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: Burford Grammar School, 1898 – 99, Oxford University 1901 until 1904.


Occupation: School Master. 


Place of residence at Gretna: Staff Accommodation, Eastriggs.

Job title at Gretna: Assistant Section Manager.

Marital status: Married

Children: N/A

Travels: St Thomas Oxford, Wallington Berkshire, Gretna, St Johns Worcester.


Awards/recognitions: Non-Collegiate II Chemistry, Oxford, Player of the Year, Windsor & Eton Alexandria Cricket Club 1912.


Trivia / any other information:


Herbert Hawtin’s father Edwin served on the Metropolitan Police and was involved in the Hyde Park riots of March 1866 sparked by the failure to pass the Reform Act. Edwin Hawtin left the Metropolitan force in 1876 to join the Oxfordshire Constabulary. Herbert Hawtin was 10 when he was promoted to rank of Superintendent and was brought up in lodgings at the New Road Country Police Station. After his time at Burford Grammar School Herbert Hawtin moved on to Oxford University receiving Non-Collegiate II Chemistry in 1904 and later completed an MA. On 31 December 1908 Hawtin married Ada Hoar in Watlington and settled at the ‘Gables’, Wantage Road, Wallingford. The same year he became a science master at the County Boys School, Windsor. At the outbreak of war, Hawtin was appointed by the Ministry of Munitions as the Assistant Manager for the Mossband section taking up his post late 1915 early 1916. Hawtin had an interest in sport and was an accomplished cricketer playing for several clubs including Burford CC and the Windsor and Eton Alexandra. Cricket was one of the sports played at Gretna with a Ministry of Munitions XII regularly playing local works sides. It is highly likely that Herbert Hawtin took part in organising the teams but there is no evidence of him actually taking to the crease. He also seems to have been involved with the sections girl’s football side, the Mossband Swifts and appears in the team photograph of the side.

Team photo of the Mossband Swifts, in which Hawtin appears.

A report by the recreations manager Ernest Taylor, noted that there was a ‘division of opinion as to the wisdom’, of encouraging them to play.  There has been felt that women’s football at Gretna took place on an unofficial basis but having the assistant section manager in the team photograph seems to contradict this view. The Mossband side traveled to Carlisle in September 1917 to play the local side with Hawtin at the head of the party representing the Gretna factory.  Looking back on his experience for the Mossband Farewell magazine Hawtin wrote: ‘Now that our work at Gretna is ended, there can be no harm in admitting that we were not born with knowledge of Explosive Manufacture. In fact in the early days, even our knowledge of human nature is not as vast as it is now.’ After the war Herbert Hawtin continued his teaching career by moving to the midlands. The couple took up residence in Worcester at 85 Comer Road from 1919 until the early 1930s when they took residence at 12 Bromwich Lane in the St Johns district of the city. In 1932 Herbert’s father Edwin Hawtin died with the funeral taking place at Sotwell on 11 May 1932. Herbert and Ada lived at Bromwich Lane until the early 1950s. In 1951 Hawtin returned to Wallingford to visit his sister Florence Emily Hawtin but died on 20 July 1951 at her address of 47 Wantage Road. It seems following Herbert’s death Ada returned to Berkshire and was residing at the Blue Mountains Home, Wallingford, when she died on 12 July 1971. 



Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): 

  • “Oxford University Gazette”, Vol 31, University of Oxford Press, 1901, P 59.
  • “The Schoolmasters’ Yearbook & Educational Directory”, Yearbook Press, London, 1915, P 249.
  • Robert William Theodor Gunther, The Daubeny Laboratory Register, University of Oxford Press, 1916, P 274

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