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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 31164 Edward Hankin

  • Age: 27
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • K.I.A Monday 10th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

Edward was born in Toxteth Park on the 09th of March 1889, the son of William Hankin and his wife Ellen (nee Griffiths), who married in Liverpool in 1878. He was baptised at St Peter's Church in Liverpool on the 01st April 1889.

The 1891 Census shows the family living at Drysdale Street, Toxteth Park. His father William is shown as a Plumber born in Liverpool in 1854, whilst his mother Ellen (shown as Helen on the Census) was born in Liverpool in 1858.Edward is shown as two years of age. He has three elder siblings; Elizabeth Jane b.1879, William b.1885 and Helena b.1883.

The 1901 Census shows the family are living at 17 Allington Street, which is off Aigburth Road. Both parents are present in the household – William is 47 and is a plumber, Ellen is 42. Edward is now aged 12 and has five siblings at home - Elizabeth Jane is 21 and is a dressmaker, Ellen is 18 and a drapers assistant, William is 16 and an apprentice plumber, John aged 9 and Thomas is 6.

Edward’s sister Elizabeth Jane married William Brown in March 1902 at St Johns the Baptist, Toxteth.

Edward’s father William was accidently killed on 18th July 1907 aged 54 and is buried in Toxteth Cemetery.

The 1911 Census shows that the widowed Ellen and her family have moved a few doors away to 23 Allington Street. Edward and John are single men and are both employed as ships stewards. Also living there are his siblings; Ellen who is still a drapers assistant, William who is a plumber and Thomas who is an apprentice house painter.

Crew records from between 1907 and 1912, show both Edward and John serving as waiters for the Cunard Line on their ocean liners - the RMS Carmania which plied the Liverpool to New York route, and on the RMS Saxonia and the SS Ivernia which sailed Liverpool to Boston, Fiume and Trieste.

Edward enlisted in Liverpool, joining the 17th Battalion as Private 31164. He was killed in action during the action at Trones Wood.

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916. The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II.

The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary. The place was a Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination, the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.

On 01st August 1932 the Prince of Wales and the President of France inaugurated the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy. The inscription reads: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”

Edward was initially reported as missing and the anxiety of his mother is shown in the report from the Liverpool Echo of 11th August 1916:

"Private Edward Hankin, of the "Pals," has been reported missing after the engagement on July 10-12. Any information about him will be gladly welcomed by his mother,Mrs.Hankin, of 23,Allington-street, St.Michaels,Liverpool".

Edward’s death was announced in the Liverpool Echo on 13th October 1916:

“Previously reported missing now killed in action, aged 27 years, Private Edward (Ted) Hankin, K.L.R. (late with Cunard Steamship Company), the dearly-loved second son of the late William and Ellen Hankin, of 23 Allington Street, Aigburth. Deeply mourned by Mother, Sisters, and Brothers.” 

Liverpool Echo on 10th May 1917

HANKIN - Mrs Hankin and family wish to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for their kind letters and expressions of sympathy in there sad bereavement. - 23 Allington Street, Aigburth Road.


Liverpool Echo on 9th April 1918

HANKIN - In loving memory of JACK, killed in action, April 9, 1917; also TED, killed in action, July 10, 1916. the dearly-beloved sons of Ellen and the late William Hankin, 23 Allington Street, Liverpool. (The sons of God who loved us and gave their lives for us.) - Deeply mourned by Mother, Sisters, Brother, and Brother Will on active service.

Soldiers Effects to mother Ellen.

Edward’s death was not the only grievous loss that the family had to endure as his younger brother John (Jack), Pte 21828, 18th (Pals) K.L.R., aged 25, was killed in action on 09th April 1917.

Their mother, Mrs. Ellen Hankin, of 23 Allington Street, Liverpool, was awarded pensions for both sons.

She died on 27th September 1922 and is buried alongside her husband at Toxteth Cemetery.

Edward and John Hankin are both commemorated on the family headstone at Toxteth Cemetery and on the following Memorials:

Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool Town Hall Edward at Panel 55 Left and John at Panel 59.

Christ Church C of E Church, Sefton Park

St. Michael in the Hamlet C of E Church and School

Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old