Hughes, Isaac Walter

Isaac Walter Hughes, son of Joseph and Susan Hughes, was born circa 1918/19 and there are different dates for his birth, but I believe that he was born on the 29th of September 1918 and baptised on the 20th of February 1919, in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton.  (The vicar had written – born 29th of September 1919 and Baptised on the 20th of February 1919, an impossibility!) That was the first of discrepancies with his birth date, the second one was when he entered Hawarden Grammar School: –

Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10

1198/1842 HUGHES, Isaac Walter, Date of birth – 29th September 1916, 5 Williams’ Terr., Pentre, Queensferry, Father – Labourer, Date of entry – 17th September 1928, Queensferry Cl. Sch., £6 D.B.T. £24, £1, Date of Leaving – 5th October 1934 Works Chemist.

The UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 confirms his date of birth as the 29th of September 1918, see below.

His parents, Joseph and Susannah Hughes, (nee Morris) had married in the March quarter of 1911 in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended (Cheshire West ROC/58/15) at Chester.

So, they were in time to appear on the first census that the Householder was required to fill in and sign on the 2nd of April 1911.    They are living at Davies Cottages, Pentre, and if you look at the Schedule, it seems that perhaps, this is really the home of Susannah as the name was “Mr. Morris,“ with that name crossed out by the Enumerator and Mr. J. Hughes inserted instead,  but that is only speculation on my part.   Also, there is the brother of Susannah, whose name was Isaac Walter Morris, so perhaps that is why Isaac was so named.     Any help would be appreciated.

As previously said Isaac’s name comes up again in the Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10, but after that I do not know of his childhood nor teenage years, nor when he enlisted or was conscripted, but we do know that he was to be on the H.M.S. Ukussa, Royal Navy.

(On the Graves Registration Report, Isaac is described as in the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm).

The 1921 census, which was taken on the 19th of June 1921 shows us Isaac Walter for the first time, he is living with his family at William’s Terrace*, Saltney Road, Pentre, Queensferry.   Joseph Hughes was head of the household and was now aged 41 years and 2 months, he was a Ship’s Plater’s Helper at Abdela & Mitchell, Shipbuilders, Queensferry.   His wife, Susannah was 33 years and 3 months old and doing ‘Home Dutied.’   Their children were Ernest Hughes, 9 years and 11 months, Catherine Hughes, 8 years and 1 month, Arthur Hughes, 5 years and 11 months and Isaac Walter Hughes, 2 years and 9 months old, all born in Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire.

*Isaac Walter Hughes would have known David Leonard Hughes, who grew up in William’s Terrace and he lost his life in WW2, please click on the link to read his story.

In 1939 a National Register was compiled on the 29th of September.  The family were living t 5, William’s Cottages, Mechanics Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire, and Joseph’s date of birth was given as the 11th of April 1880 and his work was described as “General Labourer Formerly Ship – plater’s Helper.”   Susannah’s birth date was the 26th of March 1888 and as nearly all married women who did not have a job was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Isaac’s siblings, Joseph Hughes had been born on the 26th of July 1911 and was a “Railing Wagon Repairer,” and was single.   Sister Catherine M. Hughes had been born on the 7th of May 1913, was single and doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” like her mother.  Isaac’s birthday on this was correct, 29th of Sep 1918, he was a “Charge hand Laboratory Assistant, Tar Products, Tar ???? Refining,” (This coincides with his Hawarden Grammar School entry) and Isaac Walter is on this document, so he hadn’t joined before or on the outbreak of war, unless, he was waiting for orders, now this document clarifies that to a degree.    On the page opposite is written – “Royal Nay Special Reserve Military Training Vet?”   Not sure on the last word.

However, I cannot find any Service Records for Isaac Walter, so we do not know when he joined the Royal Navy but suspect with the entry above that he had been in the Royal Navy before as I suggested above.

And in doing so he was to find himself in Sri Lanka, but not before Isaac Walter was to meet and marry Kathleen M. Griffiths in 1942 at St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton. ( Flintshire (Mold) C115/06/E207).

There are a number of websites that may shed light on his life in Sri Lanka, see below:-


These men are members of the Fleet Air Arm, a branch of the Royal Navy that operated aircraft from navy ships. During the Second World War, aeroplanes became a key weapon at sea. Flying from carriers, aircraft armed with bombs or torpedoes could sink ships at distances of hundreds of miles. © IWM (TR 285) (Photo below)

This website gives a description of H.M.S. UKUSSA

THE FLEET AIR ARM ASSOCIATION – FAAA Wings – 1985 – 2019 – Katukurunda Airport – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Also :-

FLEET AIR ARM BASES 1939 – present day.



Latitude 06°33’15″N Longitude 79°58’25″W

Also read –

WW2 People’s War Homepage

Fleet Air Arm – Fairey Swordfish from HMS Ukussa

Also Imperial War Museum


Photo in Folder – terry9554*

HMS Ukussa

HMS Ukussa (RNAS Katukurunda) from the air, 1945 (*scan from my fathers album)

Also remembered on:-

Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, World War 2 – Researched & compiled by Don Kindell, all rights reserved – 1st – 30th JUNE 1945 – in date, ship/unit & name order. Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

And  – Elephants in the Fleet Air Arm

Sadly Isaac Walter Hughes in the UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960, tells us that he was to succumb to Typhoid, shown on the Naval Deaths as * – 3 – Cause of Death – Died from natural causes on the 11th June 1945. (See below).

Isaac W. HUGHES, is also on the Sandycroft WW2 War Memorial under HUGHES, I. , and on the Hawarden Grammar School Roll of Honour, so he was truly loved as his family made sure his name was to remembered for perpetuity.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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