Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Hughes, Alfred T
Regiment/Catrawd: 5th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 528
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Helles Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 77 to 80
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Turkey
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals
Date of Death: 12th August 1915
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Died of Wounds 12th August 1915 Age 21
Alfred first appeared on a census in 1901. He was living at 344 High Street Connah’s Quay with his family which comprised Alfred T Hughes (snr) head of household. He was 32 and a brick burner at the brickworks and had been born in Connah’s Quay. His wife was Esther 29 who had been born in Northop. Their children were all born in Connah’s Quay. Lily B was 9, Alfred T was 8 and Stephen A was 6, son Robert H. was age 3.
Ten years later in the 1911 census, the family’s fortunes had changed. Ester was a widow and head of the household. They lived in 9 Chapel Street Connah’s Quay. The children listed were Lily 19, Alfred 17, a labourer, Robert 13, Charles 10, May J 5 and Stephen 7. (Puzzling. This census form tells us that there had been 7 children born to this family and all had survived. 6 are listed. The missing one is Stephen A who would have been 16. Seems odd to have two surviving children named Stephen). – Ester signed with an X.
Esther married Harry Pearson in 1913 in Holywell, a Civil Marriage. ( Flintshire (Mold) North Wales Hol/37/18)
UK soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Connah’s Quay. This source tells us he ‘Died of Wounds’.
Alfred ‘s Medal Card tells us that he entered the theatre of war that was the Balkans (Gallipoli) on 8th of August 1915 and died just four days later on the 12th August 1915.
Alfred Hughes in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Esther who was paid £1. 18s 6d on the 6th December 1915 and his War Gratuity of £3. 10s 0d on the 6th August 1919.
There is an index card for Alfred in the Flintshire Roll of Honour in The County Record Office in Hawarden. It gives the address 9 Chapel Street Connah’s Quay and confirms the regimental details above.It tells us he served for 1 year and 8 days, that he ‘Died of Wounds’ on 12th August 1915 in Gallipoli. It was signed by Mrs Hughes.
The Postcard, Letter and Poem that Alf sent his Mother from Cambridge before he set sail for the Front. His Sister Mary Jane had kept and handed down to her Daughter Maureen Bennett. (Maureen was my best friend in Deeside Secondary Modern School Shotton, and this project connected us again after more than 50 years! Thank you Maureen!)
The first is a transcript from a Post Card sent by Alf to his Mother.
Northampton 19 Oct 1914.
Just a few lines to you hoping you are keeping quite well as I am just at present. I have been trying to get a pass to come home but I have not had a proper answer yet. I received the three packets of woodbines alright. Excuse my writing this on a postcard I have no time to write a letter but will write one soon so I think I have told you all this time.
With love to you all at home from Alf.
The postcard is a ‘Kitchener’ type in colour with a soldier on the front with a small boy saying I WANT TO GO WITH DADDY. It is addressed to Mrs Pearson, 9 Chapel Street, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire North Wales. with a half penny stamp. It is written in pencil and to think it will soon be 100 years old!
The following is a letter Alf wrote, we think, before he went overseas.
c/o Mrs Fuller, 10 Bradmoor Street, Cambridge (he must have been lodging there) –
My Dear Mother
Just a few lines hoping this finds you in the best of health as it leaves me at time of writing
Pleased to hear Harry was alright also Arthur. I do not think it will be long before I will be able to speak to him for I do not think we will be much longer in England. I was glad to hear you had received the money from the Government it is not much but every little helps now things are so bad. This is a fine city one of the finest in England it would do your eyes good to see some of the buildings. I will be very glad for some socks as my feet get so sore on the long marches, Dear Mother I think this is all so will close for now. With fondest love to one and all also same for yourself. From your loving son Alf.
xxxxxxxxxxxx (twelve kisses)
Think of me when you are happy
Keep a place in your heart so soft
In the depths of (not sure of the next word)…. affections
Just plant a sweet forget me not
Home with you is a pleasure
Our parting was a pain
May God watch over and protect you dear
Till I return again.
P.S. We will have leave before going abroad.
Alfred is commemorated on a family gravestone in Connah’s Quay Cemetery
In loving memory of Alfred the beloved husband of Esther Hughes who died May 1st 1906 age 37 years.
Also Alfred their son, who died Gallipoli Aug 12th 1915 aged 22 years.
In Loving memory of Harry, the beloved husband of Esther Pearson, died of wounds March 25th 1918 aged 36 years.
Also Robert son of the above Esther Pearson who died of Malaria October 27th 1919 aged 21 years.
Monumental Inscriptions Connah’s Quay Cemetery Volume 1 Page 12 JR1 – 129 (Sandstone kerb, inscribed on end.)
Alfred is also named on the memorial plaque in St Mark’s Church Connah’s Quay.
I have the War Diaries of the 8th Bn R.W.F. around the days preceding the 12th August 1915, and wondered if Alfred was wounded in the action there. Please contact me via the website and I will send them to you or they can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk