Aberdare heard with profound regret that another of its gallant sons in the Royal Air Force has lost his life on active service in this country: Sergt.Pilot Dennis HOGGINS, R.A.F., V.R., 20-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. R. V. Hoggins, Temedale, Broniestyn Terrace.
Dennis, six feet tall and a fine athlete, was of the breed of young men of the R.A.F. who won the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe. Having joined the P.D. Associated Co. on leaving the Aberdare County School (where his father is commercial master), to take a course for officials and managers at the Tower Colliery, he joined the R.A.F. for flying duties on the very first day he was eligible—his 18th birthday.
“If this country is worth living in, it’s worth fighting for” is what he told his parents.
He joined the Home Guard when he was 17.
He came back from Rhodesia, where he qualified for his “wings” about two months ago and had recently been home on leave. He was killed on Friday, and his parents were immediately notified by telegram.
Particular sympathy is felt for the family inasmuch as his father has been confined to his bed by illness, and has been slowly recovering.
Dennis had been educated at the County School and passed the School Certificate examination of the Central Welsh Board. In the field of athletics he had made a great reputation and had won high popularity. At the age of 14 he had shown particular promise in the half-mile race in the school sports, and the following year he was runner-up for the Victor Ludorum medal. In that year, he contributed considerably to the success of the Aberdare School in the Inter-Schools relay race: an event which remains indelibly stamped on the minds of all who saw it.
In 1939 Dennis won the School Victor Ludorum medal, and in that year in the Glamorgan Secondary Schools A.A. meeting at Bridgend, he set up the still unbeaten half-mile record time of 2 mins. 10secs. Later representing Glamorgan in the Monmouthshire v. Glamorgan Athletic meeting, he beat his own half-mile record by .6 second. He brought honour to his School by winning the half-mile in the Junior Welsh Championships in Neath, again breaking his new record, winning in 2 min. 7.6 secs.
Of his performance in the half-mile when he represented East Glamorgan in the Inter-Area Athletic competition in August 1939, “Backmarker” in the “Western Mail” wrote that “Dennis Hoggins was the most promising product of the year.”
In 1940, soon after leaving school, in the Welsh and Junior Championships at Whitchurch, he again won the half-mile.
On December 9, 1940, he volunteered for the R.A.F., and had continued his running feats. At his R.A.F. station, he successfully completed—acting as captain of the team—in several inter-wing competitions.
In Rhodesia he took part in many competitions and won three medals in championship events. He also represented the Rhodesian R.A.F. against the Rhodesian Army, and. his team won easily. He would probab1y have run for the R.A.F. at the White City this season if tragedy had not intervened.