Finding my father Edward Keith Hawke THOMAS born 1924 in Reading, England.

I am trying to trace my father EDWARD KEITH HAWKE THOMAS born in 1924 (Reading, Berkshire) who was in the UK Royal Navy during WW2. He absented himself from HMS Golden Hind in Sydney Australia around September 1946.  He married my mother in July 1943 in Reading, Berkshire.  I was born in 1944.  I am not aware that he returned to this country but his mother and maybe other family may have still been here although I haven't been able to trace her. He may well be deceased now but could have married over in Australia and had more children.  My mother was divorced from him in December 1951.

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Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 13, 2017 at 13:41

Patrick,  I found an Edward Keith THOMAS in our queensland electoral rolls up to 1980 and then found this info in the Brisbane Cemeteries site - does the birth date match?

Surname THOMAS
Other Names
Date of Birth 29-12-1924
Date of Death 01-03-1999
Age 74 Years
Date of Service 11-03-1999
Service Type


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 13, 2017 at 13:45

Patrick,  Further info - he is buried in Mount Gravatt Cemetery in Queensland


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 13, 2017 at 14:30

Patrick,  If you wanted to get a copy of his death certificate you would need to prove your identity as the death occurred less than 30 years ago

I am doing a search of the electoral rolls in queensland to see if anyone else is listed as living with him at the time - will let you know if any result


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 13, 2017 at 19:45

Patrick,  Some information from the Queensland electoral rolls

1972 Kurilpa – Griffith electorate at 26 Crowther St Hill End - Edward –occupation( wardsman)  with a Doreen Alexis Thomas - occupation (home duties)

1977 they have moved to 33 Exeter St, West End, he’s now a Supervisor – still there in 1980.

It is possible that Doreen may have been his wife - this info should be on his death certificate if she was


Comment by Patrick Edward May on February 13, 2017 at 22:56

Dear Elizabeth

Thank you so much for all this information.  That is amazing as it is the correct date of birth.  I have tried on many occasions without success to find him and back in the 70's my wife and I searched the records in London and found his birth certificate, my birth certificate and my parents' marriage certificate.  I am so grateful to you. I also tried through the Salvation Army without success.  Would I be able to find out if his wife is still alive and whether they had children?  Obviously I have many questions and eventually to see a photograph of him would be another piece of the jigsaw in place. I shall go through the channels to obtain a copy of his death certificate.  I was adopted by my stepfather when I was 15 but until then I was not aware that he was not my father.

With such kind regards

Pat May

Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 14, 2017 at 14:09

Patrick   Unfortunately Doreen is also deceased - she is at Mount Thompson Memorial Gardens in Queensland

Only way to find out if she was his wife and if there were any children is to get a copy of his death certificate

Not sure why the Salvation Army couldn't find him - it only took me about 10 minutes but you have to know where to look

I hope someone sees your post who has a photo of him - have you checked with the Royal Navy in England?


Comment by Patrick Edward May on February 15, 2017 at 0:04

Thank you Elizabeth for your time in looking further into your records for me. It is sad to think they are both deceased. I had tried through my member of parliament and also applied to a TV programme for help but you are the only one to come up with information.  I have his war time service record which is how I found that he absconded in Australia.  I was also able to check his date of birth and his service number which was on his marriage certificate when he married my mother.  She gave me varying answers as to his whereabouts. Both my mother and step father are now deceased.  There don't appear to be any wedding photographs either. My grandmother was single I think when she had my father as there was no mention of a father on his birth certificate and with a surname of Thomas it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.She may have married and had more children here.  The only odd thing is the additional Christian name on his birth certificate 'Hawke' which he did not use on his marriage certificate or it would seem since. I shall continue to search and hopefully come up with a marriage certificate for my father and his wife. I cannot thank you enough for all your efforts.

Kindest regards


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 15, 2017 at 16:05

Pat,  I am unable to check later marriages in Queensland for your father as they are restricted for privacy reasons

Maybe the Hawke name was something to do with his father - I did find his birth in England and it stated his Mothers surname was THOMAS so I presumed it was an illegitimate birth - it was registered the following year after his birth

Do you know what your Grandmothers Christian name was?


Comment by Patrick Edward May on February 15, 2017 at 23:59

Thanks again Elizabeth for helping me. I have a copy of my father's birth certificate. He was born at 350 Oxford Road, Reading. His mother's name was Catherine Thomas a hospital nurse of 34 The Broadway, Cricklewood, London NW. Name and occupation of father is blank.  One can only speculate about the father and I have searched for records for her and also had a search made for me by The Berkshire Record Office. On my father's marriage cert. his address was "La Casa" Burghfield Hatch, Burghfield, which  is in Reading. They were married on 15 July 1943. They searched the electoral roll and in 1945 my mother Elizabeth Thomas was listed and on the service record my father was listed and a Raymond Thorne. They weren't able to tell me who owned the house.  My mother was not listed after that date and my father was listed until 1948.  350 Oxford Road was a bicycle shop along with no. 348 and used by a Percival Quartermain. There are many marriages for the name Catherine Thomas in London.  Would you know if the death certificate of my father will show his children if any in Australia?  

Quite bizarrely I now have relatives living in Brisbane on my wife's side!

Thanks again.


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on February 16, 2017 at 15:14

Pat,   A copy of your fathers death certificate would likely list any wife & children if he had any but it all depends on how much information was given at the time by the informant (no guarantees)

Please give an update if you get a copy of his death certificate as I am very interested

Happy to be able to help



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