Hughes, Patrick Desmond

Patrick Hughes is named twice on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial, once on the 2nd Panel and then again on the 4th panel near the bottom where extra names had been added, as if they given in too late, perhaps, as they were not in alphabetical order.    Quite a few more were also added later and are on the tops of the curbing and are now very faint.

I have researched the name Patrick Hughes and the only one at the moment is the story below, but if anyone can shed any light on the “other “ Patrick Hughes, please let us know, unless, of course it was a clerical error that his name was on twice.    We must not let any of the servicemen be forgotten.

Patrick Hughes was the son of Peter Joseph & Lucy Lillian Hughes *(nee Snead) who were married in 1924 in a Civil Marriage at Hawarden, Flintshire (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/08/86)

* Lucy Lillian SNEAD’s brother Alfred SNEAD, also died and whose name is on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial, please click on the link to read his story.

I believe that Peter Joseph Hughes was Peter Hughes and I also believe that he was born in Kilcock, Co. Kildare and Baptized in Kilcloon, Meath, Ireland, according to records I found on Find my Past.    Also, I think that he was in the Army, enlisting on the 3rd of January 1920 in the 2nd Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers.   According to the Enlistment Books his Attestation entry states that he was the son of Nicholas Hughes, and he was 19 years and 185 days old, a Labourer and on the 12th of August 1922 (No sure about the month) he was put in Sec. “B” A. Res. And then on the 2nd of January 1932 in Edinburgh he was discharged under Para 497(vii) K.R.  This leads me to think that he was a Territorial, on reserve to be called back if needed.   His address then on was KnockTulla, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, Meath being crossed out.

However, the following year, because of the creation of the Irish Free State, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers were disbanded, along with other Irish Regiments.

The Story of the Disbanded Irish Regiments

In 1922, the creation of the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) led to the disbandment of six regiments of the British Army which had traditionally recruited there. This video provides a brief overview of their story.

On 12 June 1922, a special ceremony was held at Windsor Castle to mark the disbandment of six British Army regiments which had traditionally recruited in the south of Ireland.

The Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), the Royal Munster Fusiliers, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the South Irish Horse had all served in the First World War (1914-18), during which many of their soldiers had been killed in action.

But following Ireland’s war for independence (1919-21), and the subsequent creation of the Irish Free State, their service with the British Army came to an end and they were formally disbanded.

These six regiments were just some of many distinguished British Army units which have been raised in Ireland. Recruited locally, as well as in Britain and abroad, soldiers of these regiments have served in every corner of the globe and in many of the Army’s most arduous campaigns.

 The Royal Dublin Fusiliers

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, which recruited in the east of Ireland. Created in 1881 by the amalgamation of two former East India Company regiments, it was disbanded in 1922 on the establishment of the Irish Free State.

World War

The regiment raised six battalions for the First World War (1914-18). During the conflict, it won three Victoria Crosses and fought in Gallipoli and Palestine as well as on the Western Front.

Back in Dublin, it also became entangled in the Easter Rising of 1916. Three of its battalions were sent to engage Irish nationalists.

The post-war period saw 1st Battalion become part of the British Army of occupation in Germany, while 2nd Battalion was stationed in Turkey, India and then England.


The Royal Dublin Fusiliers was disbanded in 1922 on the establishment of the Irish Free State. On 12 June that year the regiment laid up its Colours at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

I may be wrong about this, and if I am I apologise, but there is an Official document that I have which gives his address as “Church View, Queensferry, Nr. Chester”, therefore confirming, in my mind, that I have the correct Peter Hughes.

Peter Hughes is seen on the 1921 census, living at the barracks for the 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Multan, which is in India, as the 1921 census was taken for the 2nd Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers and on the same 1921 census Schedule forms as the men of the R.G.A., who were at Ellenborough Barracks, Inland Fort, Allahabad Fort, Allahabad, India.

However, it seems that he was to be home from India and in the Deeside area, as he met, a few years later, Lucy Lilian Snead, who we see on the 1921 census living at 7, Ratcliffe Row, Pentre, Hawarden, Flintshire with her family.   Her father Alfred Snead was head of the household and age 52 years and 3 months old, he had been born in Oakengates, Salop and was a Sheet Mill Furnaceman at John Summers & Sons, Ironworks, but was ‘Out of Work.’    His wife, Eleanor Snead was 39 years and 6 months old and had been born in Buckley, Flintshire.  Their children were, Doris Snead, 19 years, and 5 months old, Lucy Snead, 15 years and 8 months old, Sarah Snead 13 years and 2 months old, Mabel Snead, 11 years and 11 months old, Nancy Snead 7 years and 11 months old, Mona Snead, 6 years and 2 months old and finally Alfred Snead, 3 years and 4 months old., all born in Hawarden, Flintshire.    There was also the nephew of Alfred Snead, John Snead, aged 25 years and 11 months old, he had also been born in Oakengates, Salop and was single, he worked also at John Summers & Sons and  was an Assistant Cutter Down, but he too was ‘Out of Work.’

We see Patrick in documents for the first time on his own at school and tell us his second Christian name – Desmond:-

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

2970 HUGHES, Patrick Desmond, Date of birth 24th December, 1925, 13, The Nook, Mancot, Father, Ironworker, Date of entry 20th September 1938, Shotton Cl. El. Date of Leaving – 20th December 1939.

His date of birth matches with that according to the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939.   This is the first sighting of Patrick with his family.    They were living at 13, The Moor, Scots Road, Mancot , Hawarden, Flintshire and this source gives us dates of birth, as stated above for  Patrick and it tells us that he was in school, the Admissions Register tell us that he left school a few months after this register was taken, age 14.   His father, Peter Joseph’s date of birth was the 29th Jun 1900 and he was a Steel Furnaceman, Heavy Worker.   His mother Lucy Lillian’s date of birth was the 13th September 1905 and as usual on this register, married women without a job were described as doing” Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   There was also a John Hughes, born on the 15th December 1917 doing Permanent Way, Labourer Work  and was single.   James Doherty, made up the household, his date of birth was the 14th July 1911 and he was a Tractor Driver and single.

I believe that Patrick had a sister Moira who was born in 1929 (Moyra HUGHES  – Mother – SNEAD – Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 320) and died in 1937 when Patrick was 12, but I do not know much more about her sadly, so the family were to suffer bereavement a few years before the war was to start.  I believe that this may be her death certificate, but it would have to be purchased to confirm or deny, the only thing I know is that the father was a Peter Hughes (Flintshire (Mold)  HAW/24A/61).     Any information would be gratefully received.

I do not know of Patrick’s early  or teen years, but he was only 14 when the war broke out, so he must have enlisted or been conscripted a few years after leaving school, if anyone has any information on Patrick Desmond, it would be gratefully received, as he mustn’t be forgotten.

However, he was to find himself in the midst of the war very quickly on a very important day in history -Patrick took part in the D Day landings to Normandy During Operation Overlord:-


The 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion was formed from the 10th Battalion The Somerset Light Infantry in November 1942. It initially belonged to the 3rd Parachute Brigade but was transferred to the 5th Parachute Brigade as the 6th Airborne Division was formed in 1943.

The Battalion jumped into Normandy on D-Day the 6th June 1944 and relieved the glider-borne coup de main that had captured the bridges across the Orne River and Canal. It participated in the defensive battles around Breville and the eventual break-out to the Seine, before being withdrawn back to the UK in August.

 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion

The battalion saw combat on D-Day in Operation Tonga on 6 June 1944, the Battle of the Bulge in December and the River Rhine crossing in March 1945.

Normandy – Further information: Operation Deadstick, Operation Tonga, and Invasion of Normandy.

On 6 June 1944, the 7th Parachute Battalion landed in Normandy. Many men of the battalion were scattered or landed on the wrong drop zone. So badly scattered were they that, by 03:00, Lieutenant Colonel Pine-Coffin in command had only around forty percent of the battalion at the forming up point, although men continued to appear throughout the day. Relatively few of their supply containers had been found, meaning that they possessed few heavy weapons or radio sets.[11] However, the battalion managed to rendezvous with the coup-de-main forces of the 2nd Battalion, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry at the Caen and Orne bridges. They then set up a defensive perimeter against German counter-attacks. The first German assault on the bridges came between 05:00 and 07:00 and consisted of isolated and often uncoordinated attacks by tanks, armoured cars and infantry, which grew in intensity throughout the day. The Luftwaffe attempted to destroy the Caen bridge with a 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb, which failed to detonate, and two German Navy coastal craft, which attempted to attack the bridge, were also repelled.[12] Despite the ferocity of the attacks, the battalion and the coup-de-main forces were able to hold the bridges until 19:00, when leading elements of the 3rd British Infantry Division arrived and began to relieve the battalion.[12] By midnight, the battalion was being held in reserve behind the 12th Parachute Battalion occupying Le Bas de Ranville and the 13th Parachute Battalion holding Ranville.[13]

On the Casualty List 1490 (Page 25) apart from 4 on the bottom of the page, all are “Missing on the 6th June 1944” Army Air Corps, from either “Para. Regt.” or “Glider Pilot Regt.”    The next Casualty List (Page 8) tells us that a list of names “previously reported Missing 6.6.44 now Presumed Killed in Action.”    Some of the names on the previous Casualty List 1490, are among these, including Patrick.

The CWGC Registration Report Form tell us that Patrick and also Robert KINGSLEY, who also died on the same day, are “Buried Near This Spot” Graves 9 & 10, both in the same Parachute Regt. A.A.C.   The CWGC Registration Form gives an indication that there is a Special Burial? – Sp.Mem.’C’. lll. K.10.



Service Number 6856578

Died 06/06/1944

Aged 20

7th Bn.The Parachute Regiment, A.A.C.

Robert was born and resided in London.

The CWGC replied to my question re the burials – On their Commonwealth War Graves Commission citation they are described as being –  ‘Buried Near This Spot,’ this is used for 25 burials, including Patrick and Robert, known to be in the cemetery, but there is uncertainty as to which burial is in which grave.

Peter Joseph Hughes, Patrick’s father died on the 10th October 1973, age 73 years, is address was 16, St. Deniol’s Road, Mancot, Deeside. (Thanks to the MooreFamily Tree – Nancy Moore.)

His mother Lucy Lilian Hughes died in the March Quarter of 1976, age 70 years. (Clwyd Volume: 24 Page: 0420). (Hawarden Vol. 8A Page 2396), so they were alive to bear more grief with the loss of their young son  Patrick who paid the ultimate sacrifice on D-Day 1944.

As I said at the beginning of this story Patrick’s name is on the War Memorial twice and I have no idea why or if there is another Patrick Hughes who needs remembering, if you know anything, please get in touch.

My two daughters and I visited the Normandy Beaches on the 30th of September and the 1st of October 2023, when we were priviledged to see the new British Normandy Memorial and we were able to see the names of all who died in the Battle for Norrmandy.

On the Website of the Memorial I found the citation for Patrick,

which is below:-


Army – Private

Parachute Regiment

7th Battalion

06 June 1944




He was a passenger on board Stirling Mk.IV LJ288 of 620 Squadron, Royal Air Force (RAF). The aircraft took off at 23:35 on 5 June 1944 from RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire to transport members of the 7th Battalion, Parachute Regiment for Operation Tonga (6th Airborne Division’s parachute and glider assault in the early hours of D-Day).

However, the aircraft was hit by German anti-aircraft fire and it crashed about half a mile north of Château Sarlabot, Dives sur Mer, Calvados killing all on board.


Remembering the passengers and crew on Stirling Mk.IV LJ288, Chalk 154, of 620 Squadron, Royal Air Force

This story and photo are shared by the Trust with kind permission from Janet, sister of Cyril Stubbins and with research by Ben Mayne @BattlefieldBen

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Column 7


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