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.

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 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, they 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.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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