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Hughes, Thomas John

Thomas John Hughes was born circa 1876 in Summerhill, Wrexham, according to the censuses, he was the son of John & Margaret Hughes, who had married at St. Mary’s Church, Chester on the 22nd May 1870:-

John HUGHES, Bachelor, 27, Engine Fitter, Saltney Road, Joseph HUGHES, Labourer & Margaret HUGHES, Spinster, 22, Saltney Road, Thomas HUGHES, Labourer (After Banns).  Both signed. Witnesses:- Mary EDWARDS & John READ.  Charles BOWEN, officiated

John & Margaret Hughes are seen on the 1881 and 1891 censuses living at 1, Messham’s Cottages and Pentre respectively, then, on the 1901 and 1911 censuses they are living at William’s Terrace, Pentre, Hawarden.

And it was on the1911 census that we find John Hughes, head of the household and 67 years of age, an Engineer’s Fitter, born Sandycroft, Flintshire  and that Margaret, age 61, tells us that they had been married 40 years and 10 children had been born to them but sadly one child had died.  Thomas John Hughes, is single and 34 years of age and born in Summerhill, Denbighshire.  Jesse, 32 was age 32 years, Arthur, 25 and Harold, 15 were born Pentre, Hawarden, and all were Labourers in a Shipyard.   Daughter Ethel, 19 was single and born Pentre, Hawarden.

As they had the children they seemed not baptize the shortly after their birth, although some were, they tended to baptize 2 at a time, every now and again.  If anyone wants their baptisms, please contact the website.

Thomas John & Jesse were baptised on the same day, the 8th March 1880, Jesse having been born on the 22nd February 1878 and Thomas John born on the 29th March, but no year written down.   I believe that he was born in 1876.

I have no further information on Thomas John’s life until we see him on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939.   Thomas is seen living at 1, William’s Cottages, Pentre, where the date of birth is given, such a boon for researchers to know they have the correct person.   Thomas’s birth is given as the 29th March 1876 and he is single and a Ship’s Fireman.

Jesse is also recorded on the 1939 National Register as living at Davies Cottages, Pentre, Hawarden.   Jesse’s birth is given as the 22nd February 1878 and he was married and a Permanent Way Labourer, his wife Maggie had been born on the 24th January 1887 and as most married women, who did not have a job, were described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  Probably, their daughter, Elizabeth Hughes, had been born 27th July 1914 and was single and a Silk Worker, Winder.   There is also a closed record, or redacted record, probably a younger child.

Jesse & Maggie had married on the 12th September 1912 at St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden:-

Page 171 No. 341 2nd September 1912 Jesse HUGHES, 33, Bachelor, Labourer, Williams Terrace, Pentre, John HUGHES, Engineer & Maggie TAYLOR, 25, Spinster, 18, Ryeland Street, Shotton, Humphrey TAYLOR, Pilot. (After Banns).

Witnesses:- Humphrey TAYLOR & Ethel HUGHES.

Thomas John was to be on the S.S. “Farfield” on the fateful day of the 15th July 1941 when he was Fireman  in a crew of 8.

“Farfield” CREW LIST

HUGHES, John – Master age 42 – 30, Church Street, Connah’s Quay

BOWLES, Vincent James – Chief Engineer age 66 – 41, Mount Street, Flint.

EDWARDS, Frederick – Mate age 36 – born Connah’s Quay – 43, Trevean Rd., Penzance

JENKIN, Alexander – 2nd Engineer  age 30– born Newlyn – 27, Choyne Avenue, Newlyn

WARD, Patrick – A.B. age 28 – born Warren Point – 11, Charles Street, Warren Point

JONES, William John – Fireman age 48 – born Llanelly – 13, Covent Street, Llanelly

BENNETT, Harold (Herbert crossed out) O.S.age 19 – born Flint – 9, Lea Cottage, Flint

HUGHES, Thomas John  – Fireman age 65 – born Wrexham – Pentre, Queensferry, Chester.

Transmitted by the Owners:- J.W. COPPACK, “Westfield,” Church Street, Connah’s Quay.

There were 3 local men, including Thomas John and two from Flint.   John Hughes, the Master was remembered on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton WW2 War Memorial, but sadly neither Thomas John, nor Frederick Edward’s names were put forward to be added to any memorial, to my knowledge, except Tower Hill, maybe their families didn’t know of any WW2 Memorial, but they mustn’t be forgotten for their sacrifices.    Frederick Edward’s body was the only one that was recovered from the disaster, he is buried in Connah’s Quay Cemetery, Bryn Road..

The S.S. “Farfield” was attacked on their journey to Gloucester  from Mostyn.   They were attacked by a German plane that bombed the ship and then, not content, the plane machinegunned the ship and crew on a second run.   Only the naval Gunner survived, he was picked up after 12 hours, and only for him, we would not know the fate of the S.S. “Farfield” and her crew.

If you click on this wonderful website http://www.rhiw.com/y_mor/shipwrecks/farfield/farfield.htm it will tell the story of what happened to the ship and crew, much better than I and I have permission of the owner –Tony- who said I could use his website.

Sadly Thomas John’s body was never found, please click on the links to John Hughes and Frederick Edwards, to read more of the story of the men who gave their lives for us to be able to be free and whose hopes and dreams were shattered on that fateful day.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Sandycroft Memorial

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