Calls for street to be named after soldier who died in Afghanistan War
PUBLISHED: 16:47 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 27 November 2019
A soldier who died aged 22 during the Afghanistan War could soon be honoured with a street in his name.
Lance corporal Alex Hawkins, from Beetley, was killed by a Taliban bomb in July 2007 while serving with 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in Helmand Province.
Twelve years later, LCpl Hawkins' family wants to preserve his memory by having a road named after him in his home town of Dereham.
Doing so would echo touching tributes in Swanton Morley, where streets and an open space carry the names of fallen heroes from the Light Dragoons who died in the Middle East.
Now a campaign to salute LCpl Hawkins has been started by Martin Munn, a friend of his mother, Jan, through playing with Watton-based Phoenix Pipes and Drums.
The 30 year old never met LCpl Hawkins, but hopes a petition for the attention of Breckland Council will instigate a worthy tribute.
"Jan has told me some great stories about Alex and how good a person he was," said Mr Munn, who is in the Royal Air Force and now lives in Buxton.
"No mother should have to go through what Jan did. She's been pushing for a road to be named after Alex and struggling to get anywhere, so I wondered what I could do to help.
"We've made good progress with Breckland Council and there has been such a positive reaction to the petition. I launched it on Sunday and there are already 750 signatures from around the country.
Mrs Hawkins, 68, added: "It took eight or nine years to recover from losing Alex, and now I feel he should be recognised in a permanent way.
"He was a quiet lad but had a wicked sense of humour and would always do the right thing. Even when he joined the Army at 18, there were guys 10 years older looking to him for leadership."
Breckland Council said LCpl Hawkins' name would be stored on a list of options offered to developers when new housing projects were completed.
A Breckland spokesman added: "We have been in contact with a family representative of LCpl Hawkins and taken them through the street naming process, which could allow for a surname to be used in a future street name. However, we cannot insist on developers using a particular street name."