Lt Commander Edward Nathaniel HOPKINS R N 
- Born: 4 Oct 1878, Richmond SRY
- Christened: 8 Nov 1878, St Matthias Richmond SRY
- Marriage (1): Victoria OLIVER  on 3 Jun 1918 in Tynemouth NBL
- Died: 30 May 1947, Frenchay Hospital Bristol aged 68
Edward Nathaniel Hopkins
Birth Date: 4 Oct 1878
Baptism Date: 8 Nov 1878
Parish: Richmond, St Matthias from register:
Father: Nathaniel Hopkins
Mother: Lucy Vanderzee Hopkins
Reference Number: 6067/1/1
Edward, after his schooling at Tonbridge went to Canada, about 1895. However within about a year he returned to England and joined the Royal Navy 15 July 1896 rising to the rank of Lt Commander. As Paymaster he went out to the East and was in the Boxer Rebellion. Returning to England in 1901 his ship stopped in Lagos to coal. There the Commissioner for Nigeria was seeking volunteers to put down the "Benin Revolt' in eastern Nigeria. Edward joined this campaign as Paymaster, staying on for thirteen and a half years in the Nigerian Civil Service, to become Assistant Commissioner.
Paymaster Lieut Commander Edward N Hopkins R.N.
His Naval career started in 1896 when he joined as a young Midshipman from Public school and entered HMS Victory as an assistant clerk from where he was posted in November 1896 to HMS Philomel One of his colleagues at that time was Max Horton later to become Admiral Max Horton C. in C. of the Western Approaches in WW2.
HMS Philomel was deployed in 1897 to assist in the troubles in Benin (Now Nigeria) and one thing which always stood out in his mind was the horror of watching matelots returning to the ship with precious looted artefacts, priceless vases, carpets and other valuables, many being damaged or broken on the way.
In 1900 he was posted to HMS Hennione and served as an assistant paymaster on the China stations sailing up the Yangize River during the 4th Boxer Rebellion. He served on a number of ships including HMS Venus, HMS San Pared and HMS Albemarle.
On one occasion returning from the Far East his ship docked for "coating up" in Lagos in Nigeria when he was asked by the District Commissioner of Southern Nigeria to assist as paymaster to the troops serving there and later he was seconded by the Navy to the Colonial Office. Later he acted as Deputy Commissioner but sadly his time in Nigeria was cut short by a severe attack of malaria which meant his returning to U.K.
His illness kept him away from the Navy for same time. When his health returned he joined HMS Constance. In 1917 the ship was sent to Archangel in Russia to assist with the evacuation of the Tsar and his entourage. Some of the entourage had already joined the ship when the family was assassinated and plans had to be changed. Appalling weather caused the ship to be frozen in and they were unable to sail for some time. Sadly during that period his malaria returned and he was once again very sick as there was no suitable medication on board.
It was decided on his return that he was no longer fit for seagoing duty and he was promoted to Lieut. Commander and became a King's messenger carrying documents from Portsmouth to Scapa Flow and other Naval stations. This was a post which meant he travelled by train in a locked 1st class carriage with a brief case padlocked to his wrist carrying dispatches.
He finally retired from the Navy in 1919 and took charge of a small private school in Portsmouth cramming boys in mathematics and Greek in readiness for Public school entrance. He died in 1947
Ref: Barbara Hopkins nee Sugden.
Edward's son Adrian writes in 2011: My father entered Navy 15th July, 1896 he died on 30th May, 1947. Living in Devizes, Wiltshire, as he had since 1927, he died from cancer in Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, where he had been taken a "little time" (few days) before. I was not informed, at his request, as I was in the middle of my degree exams. He was cremated and there is not a memorial site, just an entry in the Knoll, Bristol Book of Remembrance.
1. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, Salisbury Lodge Letham Rd Sutton SRY. Edward is recorded as a son aged 2 born Richmond SRY
2. Census: England, 5 Apr 1891, Wimbledon LND. Edward is recorded as a son aged 12 a scholar born Richmond SRY
Edward married Victoria OLIVER  [MRIN: 149], daughter of John Thompson OLIVER  and Jane BROWN , on 3 Jun 1918 in Tynemouth NBL. (Victoria OLIVER  was born on 13 Jun 1887 in Newcastle upon Tyne NBL and died in Jun 1979 in St James Home Devises.)