Maybird Classic Sailing

Lt Col WCW Hawkes, DSO

1872 – 1947
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Lt Col WCW Hawkes, DSO

Lt Col WCW Hawkes, DSO (‘WCW’) descended from an Anglo-Irish family, the Hawkes’ of Carhue. One of three brothers, WCW sailed from a very early age mainly in Cork harbour. He graduated from Sandhurst in 1891 and joined the Indian Army serving with the Baluchistan Light Infantry and the 106th Hazara Pioneers. Most of his postings were on the north-west frontier – in today’s Pakistan and Afganistan. In 1916, Major Hawkes was gazetted to command the 4th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He joined the regiment in France and was wounded twice at the Somme bringing wounded soldiers back from No Man’s Land. He was promoted to Lt Col and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in January, 1917. Hawkes’ other two brothers were also in the Army, seeing action in France, and also awarded DSO’s. All three survived to tell the tale. Later in 1917, WCW transferred back to the Hazara Pioneers who were deployed in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Turkey. Sadly, WCW’s cousin, Neville Hawkes was killed in action at Ypres, 1914.

image descriptionWCW retired from the Army in 1921 and returned to Ireland settling near Carrigaline, County Cork. At this time he owned Thalassa, a Charles Sibbick designed yawl which competed in the Fastnet Race in 1927. He subsequently owned Kathleen and Buccaneer, both gaff cutters. As a member of an Anglo-Irish family who had served in the British Army, the Ireland that WCW returned to in the 1920’s was a very different place to that in which he had grown up. He left Ireland in the late 1920’s and moved to Restronguet, near Falmouth in Cornwall. He was a member of the Royal Cruising Club, the Royal Munster Yacht Club and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.

Like WCW, Maybird’s gaff rigged mainsail harked back to an earlier era. Maybird’s name still remains a mystery. We think it is a derivative of the names of two of WCW's cousins - May Hawkes and Daisy Hawkes. Hopefully the mystery will be resolved shortly as we are now in touch with WCW’s grand-niece. WCW died unmarried in 1947.

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