Rank: Private 24935
Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment
Edward Hookings was born in Beer in 1891, one of ten children of William John Hookings senior, a fish dealer, and his wife Eliza.
Edward joined the Gloucestershire Regiment, but unfortunately only his medal index card still exists. His army record appears to be among those destroyed in an air raid on London in 1940.
The only details of Edward’s army service come from an article in Pulman’s Weekly News for 2 October 1917 which reported the death from wounds of Edward’s brother, Reggie, in France on 31 August. It also quoted from a letter written by Edward, reporting that he had been wounded on Sunday 19 August 1917. He described the circumstances:
“The Germans were shelling for all they were worth, and we had to get into an advanced trench, but in so doing we had to pass through a curtain of fire. We got to the trench all right, but lost a lot of men there. The trench soon got blown to atoms, but our fellows stuck it well. It was like hell, and I shall never forget it.”
The article continues:
“In detailing how he received his wound, Private Hookings states that his machine gun was put out of action, and he went and got another team. The officer then sent him for ammunition. He arrived back with one box, but did not succeed a second time, for just as he was getting over again a shell came over and burned him. He remembered nothing more for some time. The injured soldier has a piece of shrapnel in his left shoulder, and he is very deaf, but taking it on the whole he is ‘lucky to be telling the tale now.’ Private Hookings adds that his name and number were taken by a captain, and had been recommended for good work under heavy shell fire. The captain, however, got killed soon after. Private Hookings is now in a general base hospital, and apparently doing well.”
Edward's brother William, known as Jack, served in the Royal Navy.
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