Docks at War -
The following photographs and documents relate to Frank Hopkins, a Swansea Harbour Trust employee who served as an Infantryman in the Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division, during the 1914-1918 war. Frank Hopkins was the uncle of former Swansea H M Customs Officer Peter Hopkins, to whom we are grateful for giving us this fascinating insight into this family’s experience of the Great War
Dear Mrs Hopkins
With deep regret I inform you of your son’s death in action. He was a good and willing soldier and will be missed by all his comrades. I sincerely sympathise with you in your great loss and may God grant you strength in your sad bereavement, but rest assured he died nobly fighting for his king and country. If you care to write to me my address is Sub. Lt. Atkins. Anson Batt., B.E.F. France.
Yours sincerely J Lloyd Atkins
At the meeting of the Trustees held today, the Chairman, Sir Griffith Thomas, referred to the sad death of your son, who was a member of the Collectors’ Department, and I was directed to convey to you the deep sympathy of the Trustees in the great loss you have sustained.
I am Dear Sir
Yours faithfully Talfourd Strick
The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of his Majesty and The Queen in your sorrow
Sir or Madam
I am directed to inform you that a report has been received in this Department that Frank Hopkins is a Prisoner of War. The description given is not, however, sufficient to enable the soldier to be identified. As your name and address are mentioned in the report, it is believed that you will be able to supply a full description of this Prisoner of War. I am therefore to request that you will be good enough to complete the attached form and return it in the accompanying envelope, which will not require a stamp.
I am, Sir or Madam Your obedient Servant
I am in receipt of your letter of the 24th inst., informing me of your intention to leave the Trustees’ employ on the 31st inst., which is in order. Yours faithfully P W Phillips
Upon resigning from the Swansea Harbour Trust, Frank Hopkins emigrated to begin a new life Canada.
The above photo shows a group of wounded soldiers from the 1914-18 war dressed in hospital blues. It was taken in either Chamberlain Hospital, France or the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, and includes Ernest Edward Beynon (later to be a Shunter on Swansea Docks) on the far right. Ernie Beynon served in the 14th Battalion Welsh Regiment, and was wounded in Lavanti in 1915 and again in Bourlon Wood in 1917. He retired from Swansea Docks in 1958 and can be seen on the day of his presentation in one of the photos in our Personnel section.