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 Patrick Edward May on February 16, 2017 at 20:26

Elizabeth, Thank you again.  I shall of course let you know what it says.  Even if I get no further, the information that he lived there and is now deceased has helped.  I shall be in touch.

Kindest regards


Comment by Patrick Edward May on September 2, 2017 at 23:46


I have at last received a copy of my father's death certificate.  We are so disappointed that the information it contains is barely more than that which you found for me.  The only bit is that he was married in Sydney to Doreen Alexis FOSTER but it does not say when or give any ages.  The informant on the death cert. is Sharon Ryan, No Relation, 21 Quinns Hill Road, Stapylton and she along with C Connolly were the two witnesses of burial or cremation. One wonders if he was alone!

There are many blanks - occupation, where born, father, mother & children,  He died of lung cancer in the Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston  with an illness of 1 year.

I am going to try to get my papers back from Brisbane so that I can prove who I am with the hopes of getting some information from the medical records.

I am surprised that there is no space on the certificate for Home Address.

Thanks again for all your help.

Kind regards


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on September 3, 2017 at 11:05

Patrick,  This is the marriage in question in Sydney, NSW - appears he married under another name

Registration number 10616/
Date: 1947 
Groom's Family Name THOMPSON
Groom's Given Name(s) Vincent Hector
Bride's Family Name(s) FOSTER
Bride's Given Name(s)Doreen Alexis
Comment by Patrick Edward May on September 3, 2017 at 22:28


Thank you so much.  We would never have found this. We are so grateful to you.  So many questions spring to mind about his life and when he reverted to his birth name.  Did he keep in touch with his mother? Did he have children under that name.  He was still a young man of 23 when he married Doreen.  The fact that he jumped ship did make us wonder if he changed his name and of course when he married Doreen he was still married to my mother!  It would seem though that he was on his own at the end. Who knows if I will ever get a picture of him.  If you have any suggestions I'd be really grateful.  Thanks again for your time and efforts it has been revealing!



Comment by Elizabeth Allen on September 3, 2017 at 22:53

Pat,  I am afraid that I don't know the answers to these questions and I have no way of finding out if he had any children from his marriage to Doreen - it was obviously under another name as he would have been in big trouble if it was found that he was already married when he married again

They would probably have been looking for him after he jumped ship in any case

It is rather late here at the moment but tomorrow I will have another look to see if I can find anything else for you (no guarantees)


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on September 3, 2017 at 23:16

Pat,  I have found him listed 4 times in the electoral rolls under his assumed name so tomorrow I will check the records to see if there are any children listed living with him & Doreen

Will be in touch


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on September 4, 2017 at 11:37


New South Wales Electoral Rolls

1949 - 1963, were under Vincent Hector & Doreen Alexis THOMPSON, 13 Raper St, Newtown, NSW motor driver & home duties.

There is no 1968 entry.

No children showing with them.

Interestingly, living with them and either side of them in Raper St, Newtown NSW from 1949-1958 were James and Mary Alice THOMPSON, cleaner & home duties, they weren't noted in 1963 onwards.

then they show up in Queensland from 1972 with surname reverted to his real name

Ernest Keith & Doreen Alexis THOMAS - Queensland Electoral Rolls in 1972 Kurilpa – Griffiths at 26 Crowther St Hill End - Edward – wardsman with a Doreen Alexis Thomas - home duties

1977 they have moved to 33 Exeter St, West End, he’s now a Supervisor .

1980 - same as 1977

Interesting on the cemetery records at Mount Gravatt Cemetery.
Edward Keith THOMAS was buried in Monument section 2C, row 1, plot 92.
In the same plot number, buried 8 Feb 1972 was 79 year old Eli David WILMOTT.


Comment by Patrick Edward May on September 5, 2017 at 4:30


Thank you again for your help and expertise.  You must be a genealogist. The plot thickens. Just who James and Mary Thompson are is a quandary.  When you say living with them and either side of them is this at more than one address and I am assuming that home duties means 'housewife' the term we use in England.  It wasn't very common for women to go to work in this country in those early days and it would seem that Doreen didn't go out to work.  One wonders my father adopted the Thompson name for some reason. How strange though that it is so near his own name.  

He must have known that he had me in the beginning before he went to Australia. I was born eleven months after they married. 

I can't imagine why my father would have been buried in with someone other than his wife but as he seemed to be alone at the end perhaps he had a funeral paid for by the state.

My wife and I are so grateful for all your time and efforts.  You have uncovered such a lot and it makes us want to know more.  I shall not give up hope of seeing a photograph.  Perhaps James and Alice are clues.

Thank you so much,

Kindest regards


Comment by Elizabeth Allen on September 5, 2017 at 14:21

Pat,   It is possible that James &  Alice Mary THOMPSON were just neighbours & not related

I will try & find out a bit more about Doreen but we don't have access to births after 1918 if she was born in NSW

I suspect that he was buried by the state as it appears there was no one to pay for his funeral - in that case the state would have paid for it & it also appears that he may be in a communal grave - there is only this one other person buried there

You could always email the Mount Gravatt cemetery and ask them - tell them you live in England & ask them why he is buried with this other person?  they may not tell you but you can only ask

Yes Home Duties is the same as Housewife & often women didn't work in those days but some did

The THOMPSON family may be the family they were living with as 'boarders' or 'tenants' but I am only guessing so he decides to use their name to marry Doreen

It doesn't appear that they had any children as you would expect if they did they would arrange the funeral - children only showed up when they reached 21 years of age in those days on the electoral rolls and a child that had left home before 21  would not be listed living with the parents  - the age for enrolment for the electoral rolls is now 18

I don't know if we will be able to find any more, but maybe one day someone will come across your message & be able to add a bit more

Will let you know if I have any luck with Doreens family


Comment by Patrick Edward May on September 6, 2017 at 9:07


Thanks again.  What a sad story it is to think I was probably his only child and we never met.  Even when he married my mother in Reading the witnesses were my mother's brother from Ireland (my mother was Irish) and a D Painter & I haven't a clue who that is.  No mention of his mother anywhere.  

I did think it strange that he was not buried in the same place as Doreen. So Sad.




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