General Sir John Hawkesworth

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by apdox, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. apdox

    apdox New Member

    I am a writer working on a history of the Greek Civil War. From all my information, General John Hawkesworth is the great unsung hero of the war. The late Christopher ("Monty") Woodhouse, who knew about this period as well as anybody, writes in his APPLE OF DISCORD, that he is the true saviour of Greece, in 1944-5. Yet there is a depressingly little biographical detail on him available, not even a photograph. I would be grateful for any additional information or suggestion.
  2. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    You are right, there is little info on Gen Hawkesworth publicly available. I can only find references to pictures of him on the Imperial War museum collections.

    You may have to contact them direct for a copy of the photographs.

    Field Marshall Alexander sent Gen Hawkesworth along with some 10th Corps HQ to establish a Military presence in Pharelon (Greek Base Area, HQ of the newly created Military Command Athens (MCA)) with the vast number of reinforcements pouring into Greece, eventually allowing them to 'break in' from the sea. Gen Hawkesworth was a military man brought in to do a military job and with 2 extra divisions available to him, he did it very well.

    A re-organisation mid-conflict to some would suggest that Gen Scobie wasn't coping. I would think anyone would struggle in the situation he was left in. But, Gen Hawkesworth had no political considerations to worry about, just beating ELAS with overwhelming force.

    Gen Scobies vastly understrength 3 Corps was renamed HQ Land Forces and Military Liaison Greece (HQ LF & ML(G)) allowing him to concentrate on one thing only and that was Mr Churchills wishes to preserve the current Greek government brought back from exile in Oct.

    I think they were all unsung heroes in Dec 44. The first troops arriving in Greece had been told it would be an easier time and for those who fought hard in Italy and North Africa they thought they had deserved it. They were mostly trained and sent as peacekeepers. 23 Arm Bde were completely outside their comfort zone having being relieved of their tanks and re-organised as infantry. I don't think any of them were really prepared for the months ahead.

    Good luck in you research.

  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    By the end of the war it was obvious that the Greek issue a was sink hole devouring reinforcements by the gallon and the base depots were being scourged for more and more " volunteers "

    a choice was offered - Greece - Austria or Burma with six months home leave - not trusting any of the Army's choices - I voted for Austria - happily !

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