Robert H 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 8, Stephen A 6 and Robert H was 3.
Ten years later in the 1911 census, the family’s fortunes had changed. Esther 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).
Esther signed with an X. – Esther had written that she had been married for 16 years and had 7 children all living but the enumerator had crossed this out as she was now a Widow. This gives us a clue as to when Alfred T (Husband of Esther ) died.
Esther had married Harry Pearson in 1913 in Holywell, a Civil Marriage. ( Flintshire (Mold) North Wales HOL/37/18)
There is an index card for Robert Hughes in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. It gives 9 Chapel Street Connah’s Quay as the address and states that he was in the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was Pte 33187. It says he served for 4 years and 309 days. The word Mesopotamia is written and it says he died on leave in October 1919. The card was signed by another Robert Hughes.
There was no CWGC Certificate for Robert, and I appealed in November last year for him to be “Brought in from the Cold,” which was turned down at first even though his niece Maureen Jenkins (nee Bennett) and her husband Brian sent in the death certificate. He wouldn’t have had Malaria if he hadn’t gone abroad in the Service of his country, so I appealed again and the Flintshire Record Office in Hawarden kindly sent a copy of his WW1 Flintshire Index Card to them and today 2nd September 2015 I received an email with the decision of the National Army Museum set out their decision. If you would like a copy of the War Graves Adjudication: 436, please contact me on the website.
Please see Alfred T Hughes who was also killed and who has his own page on this website. He was the brother of Robert Henry. Their Mother Esther married Henry (Harry) H. Pearson, who is also named on this memorial and has his own page on this website.
Monumental Inscriptions Connah’s Quay Cemetery Volume 1 – Page 12 JR1 – 129 (Sandstone kerb, inscribed on end.)
Robert’s grave is in Connah’s Quay cemetery . The inscriptions are as follows.
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.)
Addendum- On the 24th August 2017, I received word from Chris Hawes, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who has helped so much and to whom we owe thanks, that a headstone commemorating both Robert and Harry will be erected at Connah’s Quay Cemetery on the family grave and the one commemorating Harry will be dismantled, as there would not be room for two Gravestones, one each end of the grave, and it would look odd. The religious emblem (Cross) would not be able to be added as there, again, there would not be room on the gravestone for the two names.
On the 19th May 2018 the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, via the Connah’s Quay & Shotton Interservices Committee arranged for the unveiling by members of Robert Henry Hughes, family. Maureen Jenkins (nee Bennett) now living at Cambridge, came up with her family and the ceremony was also well attended by Lord Barry Jones, Mark Tami, Aaron Shotton, Jack Sargeant and numerous councillors from Connah’s Quay, the Welsh Assembly, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the public. Many thanks to the Vicar of St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay, the Rev. Alex Mayes for performing the ceremonies on Robert Henry Hughes and Harry Pearson’s Gravestone and also on Cornelius Edward Cameron’s new Gravestone that I managed to get put on a few years earlier. Although he wasn’t R.W.F., as they said, he was in the Army family and was awarded the same ceremonies, this time though his Gravestone being blessed with Holy Water by the Vicar.
The two names unveiled on the gravestone were uncles of Maureen Jenkins, an old friend of Mavis who had reconnected after 65 years when Mavis researched into the names.
Maureen Jenkins said: “It was quite an occasion for all my family and it will be a very cherished memory. To say it was emotional is an understatement, we will always be so grateful. Without the help of Mavis and the Commonwealth Graves Commission none of this would have happened. It is important all the young men who sacrificed their lives fighting for their country be remembered. The work of Mavis and CWGC is so important bringing all this to our attention.”
Afterwards, as said earlier, Cornelius was awarded the same ceremonies as Robert and his step-father Harry, with the Standard Bearers and a Bugler. Please click on Cornelius to read his story.
Refreshments were served afterwards in the Halfway House, Connah’s Quay.