Hughes, John (RWF)

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John Hughes

33316, Private, 3rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died of illness, 6 May 1916, aged 40
Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery, Llandudno

CWGC registered (Son of John and Margaret Hughes, of Llandudno; husband of Margaret Ann Hughes, of “Fern Bank,” 2, Gwlach St., Llandudno)

John Hughes was the elder brother of Edward Hughes 3/25879 Lancashire Fusiliers (qv). They were the sons of John and Margaret Hughes. John (junior) was born on 10 June 1875 at Llandudno. The Census for 1881 records the family including John (4) living at “Bodlondeb”, Church Walks, Llandudno: John (senior) described as a carter. John attended Lloyd Street School but in April 1887 he transferred to St. Beuno’s School, the family’s address being 3 Cwlach Street. The school attendance register indicates that John was expelled in February 1889. The same year, Margaret Hughes died and was buried in St. Tudno’s Churchyard. No census record of 1891 for John or his father can be found. At about this time, John Hughes (senior) married Mary (surname unknown).

In 1894, John Hughes became a professional soldier and joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He served in the 2nd Battalion with a service number of 4533. In January 1899, the battalion disembarked at Hong Kong on a routine posting. That year, the battalion became part of an international force assembled to secure the foreign legations at Pekin (Beijing) which were under attack during the Boxer Rebellion. John received an injury to the knee and was invalided home. He was awarded the Silver China Medal with the Relief of Pekin Clasp (June 10 to August 14, 1900).

John clearly returned home to civilian life for the Census of Wales for 1901 records him residing with his father and his stepmother at 7 Alexandra Terrace, Llandudno. Both John and his father were described as labourers/masons. On 20 December 1902, John Hughes married Margaret Ann Thomas at Conway Registry Office. The couple lived at “Fern Bank”, Cwlach Street, Llandudno and a daughter, also Margaret Ann but called Madge, was born in 1906. The couple’s second daughter, Mary Jane, was born in 1907 but died two years later.

John Hughes rejoined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in October 1914 but was discharged. He attested again on 21 August 1915 and was assigned to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Litherland near Liverpool.

John Hughes was taken ill, dying of pneumonia at Windy Knowe Military Hospital, Blundellsands, Great Crosby on 6 May 1916. His body was returned to Llandudno and was interred at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery in the grave of his daughter Mary Jane. Although the Commonwealth War Grave Commission records acknowledge an existing headstone inscribed with two names, presumably Mary Jane and John, an additional standard CWGC stone was placed. The first stone has since been inscribed with daughter Madge (d 1925) and wife Margaret Ann (d 1952).

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy

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