Hughes, Harry (Hughes John Henry)

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Hughes, Harry (Hughes John Henry)

Regiment/Catrawd: 24th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers (formerly Denbighshire Yeomanry)

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 345291 (formerly 1195)

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Kantara War Memorial (CWGC) ( Buried in Masaid Cemetery No 43 according to Army Service record

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: E 125 (CWGC)

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Egypt

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals

Date of Death: 4th November 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Died of wounds 4th November 1917 (but says 2nd December 1917 on his Flintshire index card)

This soldier has been difficult to research. (His name and differing death dates) He has an index card in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. His card provides valuable information. It says;

(Connah’s Quay F 28) Hughes Harry, Park Farm Kelsterton Flintshire. Reg no 345291 24th Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Pte. period of service 2 years 5 months. Wounded 31st October 1917 in battle of G**** (Gaza?) Egypt. Died 2nd December 1917. Card signed 25th September 1919 K E Jones.

A search of the 1911 census reveals that in Park Farm Kelsterton Flint  the following family resided.

Joseph Hughes a 45 year old farmer who had been born in Flint. His wife of 20 years was Mary 40 born in Northop. Their children were John H Hughes age 19 who was ‘working on the farm’. Harriet 15, Hugh 13, Gwilym 11, Trevis 9, Emrys 7, Tecwyn 5, Margaret 2 and Marion 1. Nine children had been born to this family and they had all survived. There was no child named Harry. Presumably John H was the son who was known as Harry.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 – 19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk lists  John Henry Hughes who died on 4th November 1917  in Egypt .  It says he enlisted in Wrexham and was Private 345291 in 24th Bn of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers. It says he was formerly 1195 in the Denbighshire Yeomanry. He ‘died of wounds’.

There is a medal card for John Henry Hughes that details the medals awarded and it gives two regiments and numbers. RWF 345291 and Denbighshire Yeomanry 1195.

His Army Service record exists and is accessible on www,ancestry.co.uk . It tells us that he enlisted in Wrexham on the 4th April 1915. He was 23 years old 5 ft 8 ins tall with very good physical development and declared fit for the Territorial Force. He was in the Denbighshire Yeomanry (Hussars) until 16th December 1916 when he was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He served ‘at home’ until 20th March 1916 and embarked for Alexandria Egypt on 21st March 1916 from Devonport on HMT Minnetonka.

He was admitted to 21st hospital Alexandria on 14 July 1916 (not clear why) and discharged on 22nd July 1916 and rejoined his unit on the 8th August that year.

At Al Arish in Egypt, he received gunshot wounds to the head and died on 4th November 1917. He was buried in Masaid Cemetery no 43.

There is correspondence in his records between the army and his father concerning the receipt of his medals and commemorative plaque and scroll.

John Henry Hughes in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tell us that the sole Legatee of his War Gratuity of £11. 10s 0d  was his father Joseph Hughes on the 23rd March 1920.   There is another amount of £8. 8s 2d with the initials “R.P” by the side, but no proper date – 8/19.

There is a relatives form  that lists his Hughes family – father Joseph, mother Mary J, brothers Hugh Gwilym, Trevor Emrys, Tecwyn and sisters Harriet, Margaret M, Marian and Jane.

Harry is commemorated on his parents’ grave in Connah’s Quay cemetery.   He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.

Many thanks to Alun Griffiths who helped to fill in some gaps in  this soldier’s story