Hughes, Thomas John

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Thomas John Hughes

14881, Private, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 28 October 1916, aged 33
Buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polykastro, Greece

CWGC registered (Son of John and Ann Hughes, of Hayley Cottage, Water St, Llandudno)


Thomas John Hughes is not commemorated on the Llandudno memorials but he certainly should be. However, he is remembered on a family stone in St. Tudno’s Churchyard:

In memory of Thomas John, second son of the above (John Hughes, Hayley Cottage, formerly of Vine House), who was slain in Macedonia, in October 1916, aged 33.

Commonwealth War Grave records indicate that his brother William, who after the war lived at Wrexham, authorised a sentiment on Thomas’ grave: “BACHGEN O LLANDUDNO (Boy of Llandudno)”. It would appear that with his wife and parents predeceasing him, Thomas John Hughes is one of the neglected Llandudno casualties of the Great War who was overlooked when the list of Llandudno’s war-dead was drawn up.

The 1881 Census for Wales records Thomas John Hughes’ father, John Hughes (51) a joiner and widower, living at “Vine House & Hayley House”, [adjacent houses on] Church Walks, Llandudno. John Hughes’ first wife, Elizabeth, with whom he had at least two children, Margaret, and William, had died circa 1875. John Hughes married Ann Jones on 31 May 1882 in Llandudno and Thomas John Hughes was born on 23 March 1883. “Hayley Cottage” was the family’s address when Thomas John was recorded in the register of St. George’s National School in 1890. The 1891 Census records John Hughes (61), Ann Hughes (41) and Thomas J Hughes (8) living at “Hayley Cottage”, Old Road (at the rear of “Hayley House”). Ann Hughes died in 1893 and John Hughes died on 23 March 1900. In 1901, Thomas Hughes (as T J Hughes, joiner, 18) was a boarder at the adjacent “Vine Cottage”.

Thomas John Hughes of “Vine Cottage”, Water Street, Llandudno married Elizabeth Williams (b Harlech c 1881), a domestic servant of “Warren View”, Caroline Street, Llandudno, at Conway Registry Office on 28 September 1901. Both parties gave their ages as 21 though Thomas was still only 18. The marriage must have ended tragically because the next record of Thomas John Hughes to be discovered is the Census for 1911 where he is described as a widower. It is recorded that he was a coalminer, aged 28, and boarding in Porth, Glamorganshire.

Thomas Hughes enlisted at Wrexham into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in September 1914 and was posted to the 11th (Service) Battalion which was forming at the time. His regimental number was 14881. The battalion moved south and eventually ended up at Aldershot in June 1915. It landed in France on 5 September 1915 but at the end of the following month it embarked at Marseilles for Salonika, arriving there in November 1915. The records of No 66 Field Ambulance record that Thomas Hughes was admitted for two days suffering from enteritis.

Thomas John Hughes was killed in action on 28 October 1916. Soldiers Died in the Great War says that Thomas John Hughes was killed in Serbia and whilst the stone in St. Tudno’s Churchyard says “Macedonia”, the Register of Soldiers’ Effects helpfully says “France”! He was buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polykastro, Greece which is about 15 km south of the present Greek/Macedonian border. Only one other soldier from the battalion was killed that day and he too was buried at the same cemetery and whilst this second soldiers’ records still exist, the only legible cause and place was “due to hostile action in the field”. The Effects’ Register states that Thomas’ effects were received by his step-brother William.

Known memorials:

  • Father’s stone in St. Tudno’s Churchyard

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