An update on Jay Hawkins’ mission to pay tribute to some of the last remaining World War Two veterans in the UK
In August 2021, 24-year-old Jay Hawkins bought a deactivated SMLE rifle. The purchase, however, was not merely for his own private gratification. Speaking to Britain at War, he stated: “I knew I had a project in mind the moment I bought it. I wanted to try and get as many veterans of World War Two to sign it as possible”. Ever since, Jay has travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom on a one-man mission to commemorate the service of the greatest generation. In February 2022, with his objective still in its relative infancy, we talked to Jay about his progress. At the time, 16 signatures adorned the venerated rifle. “Once I had received my first signature, I told myself from that moment on I’m going to travel any distance, and to any place, to find these last remaining heroes,” he told us.