CAPTAIN RUPERT AYRTON HAWDON
ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
4TH NOVEMBER 1918 AGE 24
BURIED: RUESNES COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
Mr and Mrs William Hawdon had five children, four sons and one daughter. Three of the sons died in the war, two in action and one of influenza five days after it ended.
The inscription belongs to Rupert who was the third son. He served with the Royal Garrison Artillery receiving his commission in September 1914 and joining his unit the following September. Rupert served throughout the war and was killed near Le Quesnoy seven days before the end by German rifle fire whilst reconnoitering for new positions for his guns. He was 24.
The eldest brother, the Revd Noel Elliot Hawdon, a chaplain in the Army Chaplains Department, died twelve days later of influenza. He was 33. Their youngest brother, Cecil, had been killed with three of his men on 27 June 1916. Delayed trying to cut the German wire prior to a trench raid, they were killed when the British artillery opened up. Cecil was 20
The remaining brother, Hugh, served throughout the war with the Durham Light Infantry.
Cecil's inscription, like Rupert's, was signed for by his father:
His two brothers also fell
In death they are not divided
The last line comes from 2 Samuel 1:23
"Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."
William Hawdon also chose Noel's inscription:
He kept the faith
Deo dante dedi
All four sons were educated at Charterhouse where 'Deo dante dedi', God having given I give, is the Charterhouse motto. The first line is a quotation from 2 Timothy: 4/6
"The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
Much of the information here has been taken from The Middlesborough Roll of Honour of the Great War. The Hawdon family lived at Upsall Grange, Nunthorpe Yorkshire. William Hawdon, an engineer, was the managing director of an iron works in Middlesborough.