Boy J/39221 Edward Hughes

Hughes Edward 96 359x600 Hughes Edward 96 450x600
Photograph is Edward Hughes, see explanation in 'Newspaper Cuttings' below. The grave photo is courtesy The War Graves Photographic Project.

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 31st May 1916, age 16.
Buried in Grave 3, in South West part at Tonsberg Old Cemetery, Tonsberg, Norway.

Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Black Prince.".

Son of Pattie Hughes (now Bailey) and the late Edward Hughes, of 12 Lower Church Lane, Tipton, Staffs. Born at West Bromwich, Staffs.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Tipton.

First served in 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Navy Papers transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/472540/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Edward Hughes registered Sept quarter 1899 at West Bromwich (17th July 1899 on Naval records).

1901 Census
Lichfield Rd, Walsall Wood, Staffs.
Edward Hughes (37, Manager Brick Works, born West Bromwich), his wife Pattie (31, born West Bromwich), with their 4 children: Adelaide (10, born West Bromwich), Edward R. (5, born West Bromwich), Alfred W. (3, born West Bromwich), and Reginald (1, born West Bromwich). The entry for Reginald age 1 is incorrect - should be Edward (see 1911)

1911 Census
35 Fisher Street, Willenhall, Staffs.
James Bailey (38, Police Constable, born Tittensor), and his wife Pattie (41, born Handsworth), James's stepsons Edward Reginald Hughes (15, born West Bromwich), Alfred William (13, born West Bromwich), and Edward Hughes (11, born West Bromwich), and his daughter Evelyn Bailey (1, born Willenhall).

Personal Data

Photo courtesy The War Graves Photographic Project.

Edward's elder brother, Alfred Hughes,died of wounds on 26th November 1917 whilst serving with the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Action resulting in his death

Extract from 'Jutland' by Capt. Donald MacIntyre. 1957
"For some reason which will never be known, the cruiser Black Prince was still far astern of and out of touch with the British fleet; but when a line of battleships was dimly seen ahead, it was no doubt thought that they were the British squadrons. Course was altered to close them. At a bare half-mile range, the German recognition signal flashed out. The horrified Captain Bonham, swung his ship away in a desperate effort to escape, but it was too late.
Brilliantly lit by half-a-dozen searchlights, the Black Prince was raked from stern to stem by a tornado of shells and lay a helpless wreck before she could even fire a shot in reply. As she drifted down the German line, ship after ship opened up on her, the Black Prince blowing up with a tremendous explosion, vanishing with all hands."

There were no survivors from the sinking, all 857 crew of the Black Price perished. Edward's body was washed up on the Norwegian coast some time later, and he is buried in Tonsberg Old Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald June 17th 1916
In the great naval battle of Wednesday, May 31st, the cruiser "Black Prince" was sunk and none of the crew was rescued. Among them was Edward Bailey, youngest son of P.C. James Bailey, of Lower Church Lane, Tipton, who has been in the County Constabulary for 18 years.
Young Bailey had only been 14 months in the Navy, and if he had lived he would have been seventeen years of age in July. It is stated that the cause of the sinking of "Black Prince" was the dropping of bombs from a zeppelin, one of which fell into the magazine, which during the course of a battle is necessarily not so well protected as in normal times.
Another son of P.C. and Mrs Bailey is engaged in the firing line with the King's Royal Rifles. Another son did three months training in Ireland with the Royal Field Artillery, and was then brought home to work in a controlled factory.
On the 7th inst, the parents received an official notification from the Admiralty reporting the death of their son Edward with the sympathy of the King and Queen.

Tipton Herald June 24th 1916
In last week's issue a reference was made to a Tipton youth being on board H.M.S. "Black Prince" when the latter was sunk in the naval battle in the North Sea. His name was recorded as Edward Bailey, son of P.C. James Bailey, of Lower Church Lane, Tipton. He is, however, a step-son of P.C. Bailey. He is the son of the late Mr. Edward Hughes, who was for many years a brickwork's manager, of Gervoise Street, West Bromwich. Other sons of Mr. Hughes are "doing their bit" for King and Country.

Tipton Herald December 15th 1917
The death occurred at Le Treport Hospital, France, on November 22nd, of Rifleman Alfred Hughes, of the King's Royal Rifles from wounds received on October 13th at Ypres. At hospital he was operated on four times. He was only 20 years of age and joined the army in June 1915, when he was barely 18. Before this he was employed at Messrs. Buller's Ltd., Tipton. He was the second son of Mrs Pattie Bailey, of 12 Lower Church Lane (formerly of West Bromwich), and a stepson of PC James Bailey, of the Tipton Constabulary.
On November 19th, Mrs Bailey received a telegram calling her to France, and with her husband proceeded to the hospital, and was with her son when he died. He was interred in Le Treport cemetery on November 23rd, and a memorial service was held on Sunday night in St. Martin's Church. He had been four times wounded, and volunteered for the front after his last recovery.
His eldest brother, Driver Edward Reg Hughes, is now a munitions worker in London. Mrs Bailey lost her youngest son, Edward Hughes, who was a 1st class boy in the navy, aged 17, on May 31st of last year, when "H.M.S. Black Price" was sunk near Norway. The mother recently received the following letter from headquarters;- "A report has reached the department from Norway respecting the recovery of bodies of certain men who lost their lives in the naval action of May 31st, June 1st 1916. On one of the bodies was found a letter from your address and signed "Your loving mother". A copy of the letter was forwarded, and Mrs Bailey at once recognised it as one she had sent her son. A further official communication announced that the deceased had received a Christian burial at Tonsberg, Norway, by the Norwegian Authorities.