W.C. Hughes
HUGHES, William Edmund
Private 20153,
1st Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Born - Nelson, Glamorgan, S. Wales
Enlisted - Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Residence - Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Died - 24th November, 1916 - Western Front, died of wounds

Buried at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Nr Albert, France
Grave II.K.16

Son of William and Sarah Hughes, of 20, Wern Crescent, Nelson, Glam.

WE Hughes headstone
Grove Town Cemetery

Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Nr Albert, France
Left photo shows repairs under way (April 2007) and right shows repairs complete (March 2008)

Grove Town repaired

From the photo (above left) you may believe that the cemetery has suffered at the hands of vandals. This is definitely not the case.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission are continuously repairing these cemeteries that suffer damage due to the weather and ageing. Be rest assured that with the continuous efforts of C.W.G.C. this, and other cemeteries are maintained to the highest standards.

Note: The memorial plaque at Nelson clearly shows this name to be W.C. Hughes. The memorial at St Mabon's Church, Llanfabon shows the name to be W. ?. Hughes with the missing initial possibly being a 'C', an 'E' or a 'G'. Old text formats possibly causing some confusion in this case.
What is clear is that this person belonged to the K.O.S.B., or King's Own Scottish Borderers.

Research has allowed me to find the above details. I am satisfied that this information is correct and the Newspaper letters below confirm my research, and that the monumental inscription is wrong.

By today’s standards, the Hughes family would probably be considered as a large family. William and Sarah had no less than eight children. By the standards of the day, this was probably nothing out of the ordinary.

Daniel - was born in about 1877,
Peter - was born in about 1883,
Samuel - was born in about 1886,
Catherine - was born in about 1889,
William (Jnr) - was born in about 1891 (making him 25 years old at the time he was killed)
Gwendoline - was born in about 1892,
Thomas - was born in about 1894, and
Robert - was born in about 1899.

All the children were born in the Glamorgan area of South Wales.
William (Snr), Daniel, Peter and Samuel were employed as coal miners.

Before living at the address of 20 Wern Crescent, Nelson, the family lived a few doors away at number 8, Wern Crescent.


Dec 2nd 1916.

Mrs Hughes, 20, Wern Crescent received a letter from an Army Chaplain on Wednesday morning stating that her son, Private William Edmund Hughes, Kings Own Scottish Borderers, who we reported last week as being seriously wounded had died of his wounds at the London Casualty Clearing Station, France and was buried on 24th November in the British Cemetery at Grovetown.
The 16th Nelson soldier officially reported killed.

Dec 9th 1916.

Late Private W E Hughes.

Private Hughes who was 25 years old joined the army in the early years of the war and went through the Gallipoli Campaign with his regiment. After a spell in an Egyptian hospital he was transferred to France and had only been there in the trenches about two months before he met with the wounds which ended so tragically. As the Captain of Nelson football team which some years ago won the South Wales junior cup, he was well known throughout the district and the game will suffer a great loss by his untimely end.
Prior to enlisting he worked at Penallta Colliery.

The news of his death was conveyed in a letter from the Rev J Forbes, an Army Chaplain.
Letter dated 24th November 1916 reads:

Dear Mrs Hughes,
It is with extreme regret that I write you about the death of your gallant son who died this morning at 20 minutes to one. His injuries as you know were very serious (the ankles and the back just below the heart).
He did as well as possible ‘til last night when he collapsed. For some time before the end he was scarcely conscious and passed peacefully away. He was buried today with full military honours in Grovetown Military Cemetery.

[Source: Merthyr Express]

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