Hughes, Joseph Henry

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Joseph Henry Hughes

857, Rifleman, 8th Canadian Infantry
Shot whilst attempting to escape, 11 January 1917, aged 26
Buried at Cologne Cemetery, Germany

CWGC registered (Son of Mrs Emily Hughes, of 240, Ferry Rd, St. James, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Native of Llandudno. Wales)


Joseph Henry Hughes, the son of Joseph Benjamin Hughes and his wife Emily Maria (née Jones), was born at Llandudno on 19 May 1890. The Census of Wales for the following year records the family living at 9 Pleasant Terrace, Llandudno; Joseph Hughes (senior) was a joiner and builder. Joseph Hughes (senior) died in 1896 and in the March of the following year, Joseph was admitted to Lloyd Street School, leaving a year later for Craig-y-Don School. The Census for 1901 records the family – Emily, Joseph Henry (11), three daughters (Emily 15, Gladys 14, Annie 8) and a foster son, Alfred C Evans (3), living at 4 Victoria Terrace. In 1911, Joseph Hughes was described as an upholsterer and Alfred is now recorded as Alfred Cecil Hughes.

Joseph Henry Hughes left Liverpool for Québec on 30 May 1912. He arrived on 9 June and although recorded with a stated destination of Québec, travel inland had been arranged with the Canadian Pacific Railway to Winnipeg where he took up a position as a store clerk with T Eaton and Company. Having already served with the Territorial Force, he joined the Army Service Corps in the Canadian Active Militia.

The oldest infantry Militia regiment in Winnipeg at the outbreak of war was the 90th Winnipeg Rifles and on 4 August 1914 its colonel volunteered the Regiment for war service. The Regiment was redesignated as the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 10 August 1914. Amongst those volunteers who were mobilised for the battalion at Valcartier, Québec in September 1914 was Joseph Hughes. The battalion embarked for England on 1 October 1914, disembarked at Plymouth on 17 October 1914 and continued its training on Salisbury Plain during a very wet winter. The battalion disembarked in France on 13 February 1915.

At time and place presently unknown, Joseph Hughes was taken prisoner by the Germans. He was ultimately imprisoned in Munster II (Racecourse) camp and was shot on 11 January 1917 whilst attempting to escape He was buried at Munster (Hauspital) Prisoners of War Cemetery but was later reinterred circa 1923 at Cologne Southern Cemetery.

In 1920, Emily and her foster son Alfred travelled separately to Canada and the 1921 Census of Canada records them both living at Winnipeg. Records show that Emily’s address was 240 Ferry Road, St. James, Winnipeg.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy
  • Tabernacl Welsh Baptist Chapel, Llandudno
  • Former T Eaton store, Winnipeg
  • Former T Eaton store, Toronto

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