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  • Buried in Forest Communal Cemetery
Person Details
10 Apr 1894
He was the son of William Henry and Emma Tonkin of 13 George Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham. His father was an accountant with Boots Audit Department. Frederic was a member of the 1st XI football squad and was a good cricketer and athlete. He studied dental surgery at Guy’s Hospital until war broke out and then enlisted. The Tonkin name is of Cornish origin and F C Tonkin is commemorated on the memorial tablet in Padstow because his father was born there (1911 census).
Tonkin was made Corporal in the High School OTC in 1910. He was in the football and cricket first teams. Silver medal for athletics. He studed dental surgery at Guy's Hospital before the outbreak of war.
04 Nov 1918
336361 - CWGC Website
  • MC MC Military Cross
  • DSO DSO Distinguished Service Order
7th Bn East Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of York's Own)
He served initially with the King's Royal Rifles. According to a report in the November 2015 edition of the Boots house magazine, 'Comrades in Khaki', he had been evacuated to Lincoln Hospital for treatment following wounds suffered at the front. At the time of his death from wounds received in action he was the battalion's adjutant. He is buried in Forest Communal Cemetery (grave ref. C.34).
Tonkin's DSO citation reads: 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack. He led his men with great skill and determination, and personally under heavy machine-gun fire reconnoitred the only crossing across a canal, after which he led his company across and covered the crossing for the remainder of the battalion. Throughout the whole of the operations he displayed great initiative and energy'. Research Simon Williams His citation for his Military Cross was published in the London Gazette dated 26th July 1918 and reads :- “T./Lt. Frederick Cuthbert Tonkin, E. Yorks. R. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in command of his platoon. He held up the enemy's advance several times, thus enabling other portions of the battalion to organise good defensive positions further back. Later, in command of a company in the attack, he reached his objective, and although his flank was in the air and he was heavily attacked, he held on for several hours until ordered to withdraw. He set a fine example of coolness and determination at a critical juncture.” Above citation is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Article published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 4th May 1918 reads:- “NOTTINGHAM OFFICER AWARDED THE MILITARY CROSS. “Captain F. C. Tonkin, Yorkshire Regiment, younger son, of Mr. W. H. Tonkin, of 31, William-road. West Bridgford, has been awarded the Military Cross. Enlisting in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, in August, 1914, went to the French front in July, 1915, and was severely wounded at Loos. He obtained a commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment, has been present at several battles in France, wounded a second time, and invalided with trench fever. He was educated at the Nottingham High School, where he won the silver medal and cup presented by the Old Boys' Society for the championship of athletic sports. On leaving school he studied dental surgery, and had entered Guy's Hospital just before the war broke out. He was a noted runner and football player, and a promising member of Notts. County Cricket Club. “His elder brother, Lieutenant R. S. Tonkin. M.A., also educated at the High School, where he was captain of cricket and Senior Prefect, and won an open scholarship for classics at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and was given a commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment in August, 1914. He served in Egypt and Salonika for nearly three years, and is now in the Indian army.” A further article in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 22nd October 1918 reads : - “HONOUR FOR WEST BRIDGFORD OFFICER. “Captain F. C. Tonkin, M.C., East Yorkshire Regiment, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Tonkin, of West Bridgford, has been awarded the D.S.O., and has also been appointed adjutant. “Captain Tonkin, who is 24 years of age, was educated at the Nottingham High School. He joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps as a private, along with several other members of the Notts. Magdala Football Club, in September, 1914.” Above articles courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facbook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Boots ‘Comrades in Khaki’, November 1915 ‘By the Way’: ‘Second Lieut. Tonkin, son of Mr WH Tonkin of Boots Audit Dept. is at present an inmate of Lincoln Hospital, suffering from wounds received at the front. Fortunately he is making splendid progress, and there is every hope that his complete recovery will not be long delayed.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, RB.38) Boots ‘Comrades in Khaki’, December 1915, ‘By the Way’: ‘It is a pleasure to record tht Second Lieut. Tonkin’s recovery is happily well maintained.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, RB.38) Boots 'Comrades in Khaki', February 1916, 'Saved by a Sou' (photographs): 'Some months ago Sec. Lieut. Tonkin, son of Mr Tonkin of Boots Audit Department, was rather seriously wounded in France. He was brought over to England where he has fortunately made excellent progress. On his convalescence, Sec. Lieut. Tonkin was examining the clothes he had worn in action when he found in a trousers pocket an invoice perforated by a bullet which was then deflected by a small French coin. This undoubtedly prevented a further serious wound. The coin as here shown [photograph] is about five times the original size.' (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. RB.38) Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 7 November 1918:'Tonkin. Captain FC Tonkin DSO MC, Adjutant East Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds November 4th 1918.'
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  • Buried in Forest Communal Cemetery
    Frederick Cuthbert Tonkin - Buried in Forest Communal Cemetery