Hughes, Richard (Left Column next to steps (Side)

Richard Hughes was born on the 27th November 1897, according to the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939.

He was the son of Alfred & Emily Hughes, (nee Hughes), who married on the 20th April 1896 in Christ Church, Chester.    Alfred Hughes, 29, a bachelor and Mariner, from Connah’s Quay, tells us that his father Richard Hughes, Mariner, was deceased.   Emily Hughes, his bride, was 24, a spinster who lived at 35, Cornwall Street*, and her father was Samuel Hughes a Fisherman.

Witnesses:- Frederick Hughes & Blanche Hughes.   They had married by licence and both signed.

*Samuel & Emily Hughes were not living there on the 1891 census.

They are next seen on the 1901 censuses, but Alfred is at sea, I think I sighted him on the “Moss Rose” of Chester.   He is said to be “Single” on this census, but it may be the wrong man or it could be a clerical error on the part of the Enumerator:-

HUGHES, Edward Master, Married 32, Master  born Connah’s Quay, Flints

HUGHES, Alfred Mate, Single 33 Mate born Connah’s Quay, Flints

HOBBS, Isaac Crew Single 30 A.B. Seaman born Flints.

Emily Hughes, Wife, 28, is at home at 5, Cable Street, Connah’s Quay, her children, Richard, 4 and Samuel, 1.   There is a brother, Richard Hughes, single, 29 and a Mariner (Seas), but as the relationships are to the head of the household, he would  be Alfred’s brother.

The 1911 census is much the same with Emily on her own with the children, but living now at 12, Penyllan Street, Connah’s Quay (6 rooms).    Emily, 38, tells us that she had been married for 15 years and 5 children had been born, all still living.   Son Richard was now 14, Samuel, 11, Alfred, 8, Stanley, 5 and the only girl, Mary, 2 years old.

I do not know about Richard’s early years but he gained his Certificate of Competency for a Master of a Foreign -Going Steamship on the 4th December 1925.   If anyone can add anything to his story, please get in touch with the website, it would be much appreciated.

The next time we see Richard is when he married Primrose Reddin on the 20th August 1924 at St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton, Richard is 27 and Bachelor, also a Ship’s Officer and his address was 41, Dee Road, Connah’s Quay, his father – Alfred Hughes, Sea Captain.     Primrose Reddin, 27, and Spinster, lived at 36, Chester Road, Shotton,, her father was Thomas Reddin, Deceased, Sea Captain.    They married  after Banns.  Witnesses:- Alfred Hughes, Mary Hughes, May Redden (Sic) & Thos. J. Williams.

I believe that Primrose died in 1938 (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/25A/16) and May Reddin, her sister, moved in to help with the household and  children as May is in the household on the 1939 National Register.    This document gives us a clue as “Hughes” is written above her name on the Schedule, which indicates a change of name and sure enough, I do believe that they married in 1940 in a Civil Ceremony at Hawarden, (Flintshire (Mold)HAW/15/3).

Connah’s Quay Cemetery – Monumental Inscriptions – Page 30 Z12 Stone cross with curbs.   Black lettering.  In loving memory of Primrose HUGHES, 4th April 1938, age 41 years. “Brave, Unselfish, Loving.”    Capt. Richard HUGHES. M.N. Died 27th March 1947, age 50 years.

However, back to the 1939 National Register, this document also gives us the dates of birth, which is invaluable, and gives us a clue to possible children, but doesn’t give relationships.   It tells us that they were living at High Park, Hawarden and Richard Hughes is described a Master Mariner of the “Ocean Coast,” and was a Widower.  Dorothy L. Hughes, born the 12th December 1925 and Richard A.J. Hughes’s date of birth was the 26th January 1929, both were “At School.”   Dorothy was later, I believe, to marry a Robert A. Pownall at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden on the 5th December, 1959 – (Flintshire (Mold)C106/07/E38).   May Reddin was the Housekeeper and her date of birth was the 26th May 1892 and she was single.   There was also a Lilian Brown*, born 17th May 1899, married, doing “Unpaid House Duties” and a Thomas F. Brown**, born 6th July 1928, at School.   A closed record or redacted record made up the document, but I don’t know who this person was, but could be Thomas Frank’s brother, George A. Brown.( Hawarden Vo. 11b Page 351).

*This could be Primrose & May’s sister Lilian who married George Brown in 1925 (Flintshire (Mold)C115/04/E47).

**Born September Quarter 1928 – Wallasey (Wirral WAL/164/20)

I believe that Richard died from a Coronary Thrombosis (stroke), but he was involved with the S.S.“Ocean Coast” for many years, as he is seen on the 1939 National Register already involved with it and he didn’t die until 1947.   How he was added to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, I do not know, as they have as a criteria, the death has to be from War Service, but that is not mentioned on the death Certificate.    I am glad that he was added, as it could well be that it was through War Service, but was not included on the death certificate; I need to do more research.

He is mentioned on the website and they say he was KIA in the UK in 1947.  I do not know how he was Killed in Action in 1947, any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will only recognise deaths through war service from the 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947 for the Second World War, so Richard was within the criteria.

And this website describes the “Ocean Coast” as well.

Ocean Coast was a 1,173 GRT diesel engined cargo ship completed for Coast Lines Ltd. by Henry Robb Ltd. at their Leith yard in 1935. She was 76.8 metres long with beam 11.6 metres. Her twin screws could propel her at a speed of 11 knots. She was sold to Anastassios M.& Angela Nomikos in 1964 and renamed Effy and to Titika Cia Naviera SA in 1967 and renamed Anna Maria. She was wrecked off Mangalia on 8 February 1969 whilst en route from Hamburg to Constanta with a cargo of bagged cocoa beans.

There is a Record of Richard in the National Archives:-

This can be purchased from the above site, but doesn’t say much really except that I can see through the Watermarks that he must have enlisted on the Ocean Coast in 1939, which gels with the National Register above.   Reference:      BT 395/1/46414.  Description: Medal listing of Hughes, Richard, Discharge number: 983660.   The cost is £3.50 to download.

Richard Hughes in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995.

HUGHES, Richard of 6, High Park, Hawarden, Flintshire died 27th March 1947.   Probate Bangor 2 June to May HUGHES, Widow and Norman WILLIAMS, Ironmonger.

Richard was Mentioned in Despatches, however I do know when or for what, so I cannot trace this, although I thought he might be involved with Dunkirk, but couldn’t find him on the relevant London Gazette in 15th July, 1947. “Evacuation of the Allied Armies from Dunkirk and neighbouring Beaches.”

Ironically Richard died on his 50th birthday on the 27th November 1947  – (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/31A/25).

His name was added to the curbs of the Hawarden War Memorial, so his name was put forward too late to be added to the Plaques on the front.    So he was both loved and missed by his family as they wanted his name to be remembered for perpetuity.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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