William was the son of Peter and Mary Jane Hughes of Church Cottages nr Red Lion Hotel, Northop. This was an old Northop family. Peter, the father had been born in Northop and he worked for most of his life as an agricultural labourer although by 1901 he was a self employed woodman.
Mary Jane Hughes was Peter’s second wife. His first wife Ann died in 1879. Peter fathered at least 10 children altogether. (Sarah, Catherine, Martha, Thomas, Arthur, Daniel, John, Annie, James and the youngest –William Hughes). There was also at least one stepson -Henry Pritchard.
The 1911 census tells us that William was the only ‘child’ still at home. The household comprised Peter Hughes who was 73 and described as a ‘retired woodman’. His wife of 29 years, Mary Jane was 58. The census form tells us that she had given birth to 3 children who had all survived. William Hughes was 22 and single and worked as an ‘Estate labourer’. All three of them were bilingual, speaking English and Welsh.
UK Soldiers Who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms all the military details at the top of this page and tells us that he enlisted in Northop. It is this source that says he was killed in action. His medal card, also on ‘Ancestry’ lists his medals.
William served in the army for two and a half years in Egypt as well as France.
William, is commemorated on a family gravestone in Northop churchyard as follows
The Beloved wife of
died Nov 5th 1879
Also the above Peter Hughes
who died May 8th 1921
Aged 83 years
Also William Hughes
killed in action in France
Nov 1st 1918 aged 30 years
Also Mary Jane wife of above
Died Nov 9th 1926