Hughes, William Robert

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William Robert Hughes

14540, Serjeant, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 20 November 1916, aged 32
Buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polykastro, Greece

CWGC registered (Husband of Frances Mary Hughes, of 3, Council St, Llandudno)

William Robert Hughes was born at 49 South Penrallt, Caernarfon on 14 September 1884. His father was Robert Hughes, a slate polisher, and his mother was Eliza Hughes (née Williams). The Census of Wales for 1891 records William (as W Robert Hughes) residing at the house of his paternal grandfather, also Robert Hughes, at 15 North Penrallt, Caernarfon. Ten years later, the record records him (as Willie R Hughes) living at the home of a cousin, Annie Leary at 6 Enyri Terrace, Caernarfon. It seems likely that Annie Leary was in fact William’s aunt, the sister of his father.

On 12 December 1901, William Hughes joined the Royal Carnarvon and Merioneth Militia, otherwise known as the 4th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was aged 17 and he gave his home as in the parish of Llanbeblig near the town of Carnarvon. He was a labourer working for a Mr Noble. He received the regimental number of 3099. William’s record with the Militia is short and he appears to have been absent from July 1903. William’s circumstances remain unknown until 28 September 1912 when he married Frances Mary Williams (b Llandudno 21 August 1893) at the Conway Register Office. Both bride and groom gave their addresses as 3 Council Street, Llandudno. Robert was described as a general labourer. William’s age on the marriage certificate (28) is correct; Frances was recorded as aged 19 though it appears she was 21.

Enlisting at Wrexham, William joined the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers when it formed at Wrexham in November 1914. His regimental number was 14540. The battalion moved south and eventually ended up at Aldershot in June 1915. It landed in France in early September 1915 by which time Robert had been promoted to serjeant. At the end of October 1915, the battalion embarked at Marseilles for Salonika, arriving there in November 1915.

William Robert Hughes was killed in action on 20 November 1916 aged 32. Soldiers Died in the Great War records that he died in Serbia whilst the Effects’ Register records that he died in Greece. He was buried at Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polykastro, Greece. This cemetery was begun in September 1916 for use of casualty clearing stations on the Doiran front. Lake Doiran was in Serbia, a little to the north of the border with Greece/Macedonia. It is presently in the FYR Macedonia.

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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