Hawkers: A History

Read the story of Hawkers from then to now

Since opening alongside the DoubleTree by Hilton London Kingston upon Thames in 2016, Hawkers Bar and Brasserie has gone from strength to strength.

But where did it all start?

Native to Australia, Harry Hawker was born in 1889. At the age of 22, Hawker moved to England to pursue a career in aviation. It wasn’t long before he convinced the Sopwith Aviation Company in Kingston to teach him how to fly and he succeeded in making his first solo flight after only three lessons. He was awarded his pilots licence, No.297, in September 1912.

After the war, in which Hawkers contribution to aviation efforts was unparalleled, Hawker attempted the first flight cross the Atlantic in 72 consecutive hours. Although unsuccessful, Hawker and partner, Kenneth Mackenzie Grieve, were awarded a consolation prize of £5,000 for their efforts.

Hawker died in 1921 at the age of 32 in a crash whilst attempting aerial stunts for a local derby. Despite his early demise, Hawker’s legacy is felt throughout Kingston and, indeed, Hawkers Bar and Brasserie. His death was felt across the country, with the King sending a message of condolence, asserting ‘The nation had lost one of its most distinguished airmen.'”