Tipton

Remembers

Second Lieutenant Alfred Hughes


Hughes Alfred 96 441x600Hughes Alfred 96 386x600


Killed in Action on Monday, 1st July 1918, age 31.
Buried in Grave E. 12. at Gonnehem British Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Engineers, 526th (Durham) Field Company.
Formerly Sapper 471608, 188355, & 2211, Royal Engineers.

Son of Mr and Mrs A. Hughes, of Dudley Road, Tipton, Staffs. Native of Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Dudley.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Matthew's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/530497/


Genealogical Data

1901 Census
11 High Street Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Hughes (38, Canal Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Alice (38, born Sedgley), and their son Alfred (13, Office Boy in Ironworks, born Tipton).

1911 Census
61 Dudley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Alfred Hughes (48, Canal Boatman - employer, born Tipton), his wife Alice (48, born Coseley), and their only child: Alfred (23, Surveyor - in the employ of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue - Valuation Department, born Tipton).

Marriage of Alfred Hughes and Isabel Fellows registered September quarter 1917 in Dudley.


Personal Data

Alfred attested with the Royal Engineers in November 1915. In May 1917 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, still in the Royal Engineers. His Medal Index Card shows that he landed in France on 17th February 1918, but this may have been the time of his return as an officer after training.

The War Diary of the 526th (Durham) Field Company records that "2nd Lieut. A. Hughes joined the Company on 1st March 1918". At that time they were located near Arras. The War Diary also records that Alfred was sent to the 4th Army Instruction School on 23rd March 1918, and on 14th April he was shown as one of the officers in charge of Demolition Parties on a number of canal bridges.

No Service Papers survived from his time as an 'Other Ranks', but his Officer's Papers are likely to exist in the National Archives.

After Alfred's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £93/9/0d (93 pounds and 9 shillings), this was paid to his widow, Mrs Isabel Mary Hughes, in December 1918 and January 1919. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Isabel in December 1919


Action resulting in his death

The 526th (Durham) Field Company had been located in Busnettes (5 miles north-west of Bethune) during June 1918. They had been occupied in constructing dug-outs, improving headquarters, revetting and thickening parapets, and building a de-lousing facility.

An article in the Tipton Herald (see below) records the cause of Alfred's death:
"On the 1st of the present month he was on night duty, and with his comrades took shelter from shells that were falling thick about them. There was a lull in the fusilade and, believing the coast was clear, they left their shelter and Lieutenant Hughes had just stepped outside when he was hit and killed instantaneously. Stangely enough, Lieutenant Hughes's brother-in-law (Sergt. W. Fellows) was in the neigbourhood and was chief mourner at the funeral."


Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald July 13th 1918
Deaths.
HUGHES-Killed in action July 1st 1918, Second-Lieut. Alfred Hughes, Royal Engineers, the beloved son of Alfred and Alice Hughes, Dudley Road, Tipton; age 31 years. Mourned by his mother and father.
"Out of the strain of the doing,
Into the peace of the done;
Out of the pain of pursuing,
Into the Glory of Won."
also
Roll of Honour.
HUGHES-Killed in action July 1st 1918, Second-Lieut. Alfred Hughes, R.E. (526th Durham Field Company), age 30, dearly beloved husband of Isabel Mary Hughes ,11 Victoria Terrace, Dudley, and son-in-law of Mr WH Fellows.

Tipton Herald July 20th 1918
Lieutenant Alfred Hughes, who has fallen in action (an account of which appears in another column), was in his early life connected with the Sunday School and Choir of the Wesleyan Church, Park Lane, Tipton.
also
THANKS
Mr and Mrs Hughes, Dudley Road, Tipton, desire to thank all friends who have rendered sympathy to them in their deep sorrow and bereavement.

Dudley Herald July 20th 1918
SECOND-LIEUTENANT ALFRED HUGHES.
The usual sad formula of "Killed in action" has to be set against the name of Second Lieut. Alfred Hughes, of the Royal Engineers, whose death will be sincerely regretted by a very large number of friends in Dudley and district. Lieutenant Hughes, who was 30 years of age, attested in November 1915, and joined the Royal Engineers as a sapper. He gained commission in May 1917, and went out to France at the beginning of last February. On the 1st of the present month he was on night duty, and with his comrades took shelter from shells that were falling thick about them. There was a lull in the fusilade and, believing the coast was clear, they left their shelter and Lieutenant Hughes had just stepped outside when he was hit and killed instantaneously. Stangely enough, Lieutenant Hughes's brother-in-law (Sergt. W. Fellows) was in the neigbourhood and was chief mourner at the funeral.
The deceased officer, who was a native of Tipton, served his articles with Mr. W. Pearson, of Priory Stret, Dudley, and subsequently became attached to the permanent staff of the Land Value Department, whose local offices were in Wolverhampton Street, Dudley. He gained the P.A.S.I. early in his career and subsequently took his F.S.I. He was treasurer of the Dudley Hockey Club and captain of the second team, whilst he was also a keen golfer. He was a member of the Dudley Operatic Society, and took part in the performance of two operas.
Mrs. Hughes (who has three brothers with the colours) has received many letters of sympathy from her husband's fellow officers and comrades. The Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment writes in very high terms of his ability. It would be hard to replace, he says, so keen a soldier and one who was so thorough in all he undertook.
The following telegram has been received by Mrs. Hughes:_ "The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the army have sustained by the death of your husband in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow."