Thomas Owen Hughes is not named on any local memorial. He was not a military man but he died in one of the most infamous events in World War 1.
He was born in the Parish of Hope in Flintshire in 1873. He was the son of John and Ellen Hughes.
Thomas was recorded on the census of 1881 living with his family at Uwchymynydd Ucha Ffrith, Llanfynydd. Head of the household was John hughes 46, a Coal Miner. His wife was Ellen aged 40. Their listed children were Robert E aged 13 and Thomas O who was 7. Recorded in the household was Ellis a widower aged 70. He was John’s father. John’s brother – also named Ellis was part of the household. he was 35 and a Coal miner.
Ten years later in the census of 1891 finds the family still in Ffrith. John Hughes 45 a Collier. Ellen his wife was 50. Thomas Owen was 17 and was a draper’s assistant. Listed also (as in-laws) were father Ellis Hughes 75 and brother Ellis Hughes 35. Neither of the ages tie up with their ages on the previous census form.
1n 1901 still living in the Ffrith were Ellen Hughes a 60 year old widow and Thomas Owen still single and 27 years old. He was an assistant Clothier Dealer.
In the last quarter of 1902 Thomas Owen Hughes married Alice Jones in the District of Chester. She was a widow and 10 years older than her husband. They were living at 78 Northgate Street Chester according to the 1911 census. Thomas O Hughes was head of the household. He was 37 and was employed as a Seaman Store keeper on the Cunard Line. His wife of 8 years was 47 year old Alice Hughes. They had no children. Listed in the household was Fred Roberts brother in law. He was 45, single and was a Railway Guard. Elizabeth Holyoak was a married sister in law and was a 52 year old cook. There was also a resident domestic servant, Ellen Crome who was 23
Thomas Owen served as assistant Storekeeper in the Stewards’ Department. on board the Lusitania and he was killed when she was sunk on the 7th May 1915. His body was not found. He is commemorated on the Mercantile Memorial at Tower Hill London.
He is also commemorated on the grave of his wife’s parents in Overleigh cemetery, Chester. The inscription reads
Thomas Owen Hughes
Son in Law
The Beloved Husband of
Who lost his life on May 7th 1915
Through the sinking
Of The RMS Lusitania
In The Great War
It seems that an original bronze memorial plaque was once fixed to the gravestone above the inscription but it is no longer there.
Thomas Owen Hughes is also commemorated on a Hughes family gravestone in Llanfynydd Churchyard. The inscription is in Welsh. His parents John and Ellen Hughes are listed as is his brother Robert E Hughes. The inscription says
Thomas Owen, son of the above he who was lost on the SS Lusitania May 7th 1915