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Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian

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Harrier
Coventry
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1 of 9  Sat 21st Apr 2018 6:22pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:180

Three weeks ago I was contacted for information about a Coventry Olympian. His name was Richard L. Hawkey who according to Olympic reports was a member of Coventry Godiva Harriers, competing for Great Britain in 1948 in the Hop, Step and Jump, what we now call the Triple Jump. He jumped for the Amateur Athletic Association against Wales in the same year 1948 and again against possibly the Combined Services, programmes and press again referenced Coventry Godiva Harriers. The information I have found out about him is minimal. In the local press almost nothing of any substance exists which is amazing for someone selected for the Olympics??? He came from Darlington to attend Teacher Training College in Coventry. Darlington Harriers have no information about him, likewise the 'Northern Echo', although he was good enough to win the Northern Area Hop, Step and Jump Championships and place in the Long jump. If he attended Canley College it must have been prior to the summer of 1948 as it then became a female only college. He might have attended Exhall (Grange) College which came under the Warwickshire Education Authority, Canley being Coventry Education Authority although post war both were given over to emergency teacher training for returning service personnel. As Hawkey was 33 years old at the time he became an Olympian, he would slip into this category, being 30 when the WW11 ended, 24 when it started. So far I have found no post London (1948) Olympics performances from him. He may have retired to concentrate on his career in teaching?? Did he teach locally?? Does he have any descendants locally? There appears to be no records in the archives for 1946/7/8 for either college. Godiva Club records for the period are sparse and he is not mentioned. National Athletic Archives contain no details of his Godiva involvement. How can an Olympian be so enigmatic? An Olympian from Coventry or with Coventry connections has got to be worth pursuing? As his surname (HAWKEY) is unusual, it might ring a bell with someone, not necessarily the Christian name Richard, but a descendant, although the family history of that surname has no Richard L. Hawkey listed anywhere. I won't hold my breath but any information, please, would be of interest no only to the enquirer but also to Godiva Harriers.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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2 of 9  Sat 21st Apr 2018 8:27pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1530

Harrier, a few facts I have gleaned from the newspaper archives. R L Hawkey was at Ryehope Secondary School, he appears to be quite an all rounder taking part in school sports competitions. He was later listed as being in Durham Police team. In 1947 he came third in the hop skip and jump with 44ft 6 1/4ins for City of Coventry College. He is listed in 1947 as a possible for the games but again is listed as City of Coventry Training College. In 1948 it says he failed to reach the final. In 1949 he is competing for Northumberland and Durham. If you look at the Olympian Database for competitors in the 1948 games his name is actually given as Robert Hawkey and I have found a Robert L Hawkey born in Chester le Street in 1915. I have just found these bits of information quickly on my iPad. If you would like them in better detail let me know and I will do you a proper list when I go up to my PC
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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3 of 9  Sun 22nd Apr 2018 6:23am  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:419

Robert Hawkey is mentioned as a 1948 Olympic competitor on this wikipedia page. As you reported, he failed to jump the qualifying distance of 14.5 metres. I suspect he is the Robert L Hawkey born in Chester-le-Street in 1915, you can get the exact date from the 1939 Register. He likely married Edna M Jackson in 1941 in the Durham area, but I cannot find his death in the UK. An Edna May Hawkey though died in Victoria, Australia in 2009. Edited by member, 22nd Apr 2018 7:13 am
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
4 of 9  Sun 22nd Apr 2018 8:49am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:180

Sorry both, of course it is Robert! I have been trying to contact a 'Richard' and a 'Michael' in America as there seems to be a family connection to Chester le Street but have not been successful ... that's my excuse for the muddle Sad .
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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5 of 9  Sun 22nd Apr 2018 12:50pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1530

I think the Edna May in Australia may just be a coincidence. She appears on a 1942 census in Australia but there are 2 children I can find born to Hawkey, mother Jackson, Elizabeth A in 1945 in Durham and Judith in 1949 in Northallerton. There are other Hawkeys in Australia who appear to have been there from the 1800's.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Midland Red
Cherwell
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6 of 9  Sun 22nd Apr 2018 1:14pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5371

Robert Leslie and Edna May Hawkey are in Whangarei, New Zealand, in 1972 - they are both listed in the Electoral Roll as a School Teacher Thumbs up In 1978 and 1981, Edna May is still there but not Robert Oh my
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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7 of 9  Sun 22nd Apr 2018 2:56pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1530

Archive records of the Metropolitan Police - Robert Leslie Hawkey, warrant number 124619 joined 2/12/1935 and left 19/3/1939 Edited by member, 22nd Apr 2018 3:03 pm
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
8 of 9  Thu 24th May 2018 5:59pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:180

Thankyou for all your help. A little bit of an update. For some reason, the local newspaper, archivists and local studies / library cannot find when Hawkey died in 1976! His wife died in June last year aged 99 so McSporran's Edna May is different, however implausible that appears. 'Northern' Echo is not yet copied on the Newspaper archive and the staff are not too interested but would welcome any input from me, so a trip to Boston Newspaper Library might be required. I have tried local and national educational bodies in NZ without any glimmer of interest compared to Warwick University archivists who furnished me with Coventry College articles mentioning Hawkey briefly. I have been in touch with the Historian at Darlington Harriers who had next to nothing about the club's most prestigious performer though I did get in touch with an old member who knew Hawkey. His digs in 1939 in Durham while a police officer were in the next street to mine when I was in Durham. I hope his meals were a little more varied than mine. It was fish in the morning, fish in the evening and fish at supper time!! I reckon the landlady's husband worked on the trawlers. I am still waiting some other results from New Zealand, so some Coventry Godiva connection may yet emerge.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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9 of 9  Thu 24th May 2018 7:40pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:419

The historic births, marriages and deaths for New Zealand are online at www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/Search. This confirms that Robert Leslie Hawkey died in 1976 and gives his birth date as 19th March 1915. A death certificate can be ordered for a fee. Unfortunately NZ newspapers are online up to 1949 only. Robert and Leslie are recorded on a passenger list arriving at Wellington on 14th September 1970 on board the Achille Lauro from Freetown, by which time he was a headmaster and gave an address of 48, Onerahi Rd, Onerahi, Whangarei. (source: familysearch.org account required) Edited by member, 24th May 2018 8:15 pm
Sport, Music and Leisure - Robert Hawkey, Coventry Olympian

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