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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia



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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1864
Place of birth Willunga, South Australia

Date of death 1882
Place of decease South Melbourne, Victoria

Thomas Hawken was born 19 July 1864 at Willunga and he was baptized at St. Stephens Anglican Church in Willunga on 30 Oct 1864. Thomas was the son of William Hawken (1835-1905), who was a quarryman and slate monumental mason, and his wife Jane Ann Male (1839-1923) who were resident in Willunga from about 1857-58 until 1875-76. William Hawken purchased allotment 72 (now 9 St. Jude’s Street) in the township of Wllunga in 1858.

Thomas Hawken probably attended Buckland House Academy in the early 1870s - the Bassett school for boys run by James Bailey Bassett. There is a photo of the Willunga Band of Hope Band dated 1873 that has at the left end of the front row Thomas Hawken (aged about 9) with a triangle and his older brother Albert William Bonear Hawken (aged about 13) with a violin. Thomas appears to have started to follow his father William as a monumental stone/slate mason as the carved slate practice piece recently acquired by the Willunga Branch of the National Trust suggests

William Hawken, with most of his family, moved to South Melbourne, Victoria sometime before 1 April 1876 but it is uncertain at this stage whether Thomas (aged about 11) went with them. William only sold the property at 9 St. Judes Street on 26 June 1883 to William Matthew Oliver of Hutt Street, Adelaide who was a licensed victualler.

This newspaper extract is from a piece about the Willunga Agricultural Society’s Annual Show in March 1881: ‘A word of praise is due to Master Hawken's exhibit of some neatly executed carving in Italian and Sicilian marble,…’. The SA Register provides some more information about these carvings: “The first was a watchstand of Sicilian and St. Ann's marble, and the other a dummy book, cut out of a solid block of Sicilian marble, and so admirably gilded, carved, and lined that several visitors took it up and essayed to open it. Their disgust at being 'sold' was overpowered by their admiration for the innocent cause of it— a lad named T. Hawken, less than sixteen years old”. This suggests that Thomas Hawken may have temporarily returned to Willunga in 1881 and this may be when he executed the carving recently acquired by the Willunga Branch of the National Trust .

Thomas died from consumption (tuberculosis) at his father's residence, 28 Grant Street, Emerald Hill, Victoria on 10 April 1882 (aged 17 years and nine months) and he is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.


  • Early Willunga Schools folder (26-1) - National Trust Willunga Branch
  • South Australian Register 5 March 1881. p.15
  • South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail Saturday 5 March 1881 p.15
  • Australian Birth Index
  • Australian Death Index
  • Leader 15 April 1882:28.
Willunga Band of Hope 1873
Willunga Band of Hope 1873
Thomas Hawken in the Willunga Band of Hope, 1873
Thomas Hawken in the Willunga Band of Hope, 1873
Slate practice piece
Slate practice piece

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