|The Editor then contacted both the
St. Helens Star and the Liverpool Echo for
assistance to track down "Hawthorne"
after speaking to Caroline on the phone. The
documents contained two PGS report books for
J.R.Hawthorne and some essays by Liv Birgit
Hawthorne. It was quickly ascertained that
J.R.Hawthorne attended PGS from 1935 to 1945 in
the days when the school accepted children
younger than eleven years.
Steve Leary, Editor
of the St.Helens Star e-mailled, "Thanks for
the message. Wasnt the Mr Chips-like
physics teacher Judd a Hawthorne too?
Or is my memory finally imploding?"
of the Liverpool Echo then contacted the site,
requesting more information, "Your email and
details were forwarded to me by the Liverpool
Echo to me as I am working as the Community
Star reporter, Ron Vose then made a significant
breakthrough to the mystery on 23rd February,
2012, "I'm writing the article concerning
the excercise books of your 'J. R. Hawthorne',
but I also did a bit of independent research.
Thought you might like to know what I've learned,
though you probably know most of this already.
His full name is John Richard Hawthorne. He was
born in 1927, and died in 2000, apparently
somewhere in Yorkshire according to some BMD
research I did. He received a scholarship from
Prescot Grammar School to attend Brasenose
College in 1945, where he studied Modern
Languages. He only graduated from there in 1957.
According to the woman I spoke to at Brasenose
Alumni, she said that kind of delay is common, as
at Oxford you only graduate once you have
collected your degree. Our editor Ste Leary said
that the reason for that delay could have been
At any rate, Brasenose told me that he then went
on to Plymouth College of Further Education, now
know as Plymouth City College, but thats
where the trail ends for me - the college only
keeps records for 6 years prior.
With relation to Liv Birgit Hawthorne, I've found
Keep an eye out for the request for public help
in the paper next week."
mystery regarding John Richard Hawthorne comes
from the report books themselves. Those of us who
had the PGS style career report books will
remember that a parent's signature was required
when it was returned to the school the following
term. J.R.Hawthorne's father's signatures suggest
the name of J.E.Hawthorne. Is it too much too
assume that his father was indeeed, J.E.
"Judd" Hawthorne who taught at the
school from the mid 1930s to the early 1960's?
made the final breakthrough to solve the mystery
of the "Hawthorne Find" as descibed in
his next e-mail on Friday, 24th February, 2012,
"I've found the family of your J. R.
First and foremost, let me make it clear that
this has been a personal effort at home - so my
findings won't be in the paper. I think that, if
we run it, we'll still be running it as a
feature asking for input from locals. I agree
with the editor that appealing to the public is a
key feature of this piece, and we will probably
find that our readers know much much more than
I've dug up by myself - perhaps even people who
knew the man when he was growing up?
At any rate, this is what I've found. With a bit
more digging, I found that a family tree for a
Hawthorne family had been put together on
ancestry.co.uk. Ancestry is exorbitantly priced,
but I managed to grab a free trial. On there, I
found that a Karen Hawthorne has been putting
together a family tree. Through working through
the family tree, and by getting in touch with
Karen (who is the wife of John Richard
Hawthorne's nephew) this is what I've learned.
John Richard Hawthorne was born on Sunday, July 3
1927. He died in York, some time in May 2000. He
had two younger brothers - Michael Edward
Hawthorne (1929-1997), and Noel David Hawthorne
(1930-1998). They were all born to John Eric
Hawthorne, who was born in 'South Liverpool' in
1898, and an Elsie Dresser, born 1900, who I
think came from York. Apparently, the family
moved to Prescot when John Eric Hawthorne got a
job teaching physics at - you guessed it -
Prescot Grammar School.
As for Liv Brigit Hawthorne? That was John
Richard's wife, and she was originally from
Norway. They lived in York. As far as I
understand it from Karen, Liv has recently sold
her house and her possessions, which included an
old piano - bringing us full circle..
Karen is going to contact the Hawthorne clan in
York to let them know we've all been looking for
her, and put them in touch with me. Karen lives
in Colne, which is where Noel David moved.
Michael Edward's descendants apparently now live
in either Chester or Ellesmere Port - the website
wasn't specific. So they are pretty well spread
out. If you want, I can pass on your details
to them, and they can contact you directly?
I hope I've been of some use to you, and I hope
that my efforts won't shut this mystery down for
others - there is still a lot more that we could
learn, I'm sure!
details of John Richard Hawthorne come from John
"I met John (Richard) Hawthorne in York when
I came to work at the University of York in 1968.
We were living in Rawcliffe Lane, in Clifton at
the time, in a rented house until our new bunglow
had been built in Hovingham. We bumped into one
another purely by chance - he and his wife were
living in the nearby Shipton Road.
He was working, teaching modern languages -
needless to say, French - at an independent
school in York, Bootham School run by the
Quakers. We got to know one another and indeed,
we went to his home for dinner on one occasion
and we reciprocated. He was 7 years older than me
so that at PGS, I was in the Prep Department
while he was in the Sixth Form.
Sadly we lost touch when we went to live in
Hovingham for no other reason that the University
is located out at Heslington and Hovingham is
about 18 miles from York. We only went into York
for shopping or for a coffee at Bettys.
Heslington is on the completely opposite side
York from Clifton.
The one thing about John I can especially recall
is that he smoked a lot!!