Monday, 27 April 2015

Hopkins, Harold - Private

(No soldier photo available)
4th. Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
Died 30 May 1940
Age 23

The outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 found the 4th. Battalion East Lancashire Regiment in Blackburn under the command of Lt.Col. G.N. Robinson. It is to their credit that every man who received his notice calling him up for mobilisation answered the call. After many false alarms, the Battalion went to France on 23 April 1940. On 27 May they were ordered to withdraw from Armentieres towards Dunkirk. On 30 May, German tanks attacked the Battalion at a point near Oost-Chapelle. The tanks were supported by artillery and small-arms fire. The Battalion inflicted casualties on the attacking German infantry and knocked out several light tanks in what was later described as 'brief but brisk' action. The Battalion, however, suffered many casualties in an action fought after a march of some 70 miles in 4 days. Private Harold Hopkins lost his life on that day.

Harold was one of three brothers. He was aged 23. He attended St.James' Church and School. He was a member of the Haslingden company of the Battalion and was an officer's servant.

Harold is buried in Warhem Communal Cemetery, France. The village of Warhem is 12 kilometres southeast of Dunkirk and about five kilometres east of Berques. The cemetery holds 90 19391945 War casualties, of which 30 are unidentified. Harold lies in Row B, Grave 12.