Hughes, Joseph

Joseph  Hughes was born circa 1914 and if the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939, shows the right Joseph Hughes, it states that his birthdate was 16th January 1914.  He was living at No. 1 Mill Cottages, Killins Lane, Shotton, with Geo. Henry Parry, born 26th October 1885, Margaret Parry Snr, born 9th June 1879, both married and in the household was Margaret Hughes Jnr., born  2nd October 1917 (This may have been a clerical error on the part of the Enumerator) and there were 3 redacted records on the Register.

I am presuming that Geo. Henry and Margate Parry are Margaret Hughes’s parents, but Joseph & Margaret didn’t marry until a year later.

Joseph & Margaret married at St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton on the 20th July 1940, Joseph,26, stating his father’s name as John Joseph Hughes, (Dec.) and Ironworker and 22 year old Margaret’s father as the above George Henry Parry, a Furnace Fitter.   Their witnesses were John PARRY, Margaret PARRY & Gwendoline Margaret TURNER.

I have no knowledge of Joseph’s early life, so any information on telling his story and making sure he is remembered will be gratefully received.

We do know that Joseph enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on the 19th March 1942 and was given the Regimental Number of 4209786 and was transferred to the Dorset Regiment on the 16th July 1944, with his documents being sent to Exeter on the 8th August 1944.

There is a Casualty List which records the fact that Joseph was wounded on the 28th September 1944 with a written not to say he had been K.I.A. (No date.)

The next document we have is a Casualty List, and sadly this lists his death on the 16th February 1945, so he was only in the 5th Bn Dorset Regiment for just over 6 months.

This website gives some indication of what Joseph went through:-

The 4th and 5th Battalions The Dorsetshire Regiment in World War Two

Below is an excerpt that might relate to Joseph at least part anyway.

… Winter arrived and in the snow and mud around Geilenkirchen they fought bitter battles in the grimmest conditions.  Here, despite the conditions and despite heavy casualties, the 5th Dorsets captured and held a wood west of Tripsrath, which in their honour was called Dorset Wood.

In February 1945 they returned north to force their way from Cleves through the Reichswald

Forest *and to close up to the Rhine.  The 5th crossed the Rhine on 25th March and took the villages of Speldrop and Androp without much opposition.  The 4th followed and captured Millingen.  The British advance was rapid and the German defence was losing cohesion but pockets of German defenders, armed with Spandau machine guns and sometimes supported by 88mm artillery, often exacted a heavy toll before withdrawing.  Liberating the Dutch towns of Hengelo and Borne the Dorsets and Hampshires established a lasting friendship with the inhabitants.  Hengelo presented the Regiment with a Liberation Scroll while Borne renamed their town square Dorset Plein.

* Reichswald Forest War Cemetery is where Joseph was laid to rest, age 31 years. 

Joseph was well loved as his name was put forward to be added to the War Memorial, so he wouldn’t be forgotten.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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