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Remembered Today:

Joseph george Hughes


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Joseph George Hughes, usually listed as George, is a soldier on the 1901 census age 19 living in Bebington Cheshire with his family. In 1901 he is a postman in Birkenhead and is now married. His number was 6483 and his MIC states he was sent to France 3 January 1915. I've looked on the Long, Long Trail which says the 2nd Bn returned from India 24 December 1914 and went to France 17 January 1915. I am wondering why George appears to have gone to France before the rest of the regiment, with his number being quite low, had he enlisted again before the outbreak of war or would he have joined as soon as war was declared and as he had experience he was sent straight out?

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Part of an advance party? Or just posted overseas to await their arrival? Or posted to the 1st Battalion pending a later transfer to the 2nd?

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Thanks John, His entry on CWGC says 2nd Bn but as you say it is possible he was sent in advance or sent out to the 1st to await the arrival of the 2nd. He's also on the Roll of Honour for the 2nd Bn Cheshire Regiment

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Judith

Only just seen this post - so hope you are still checking for replies. My grandad was also originally in 2nd Battalion. As a Reservist he was recalled to the Regiment at the outbreak of War and as the 2nd was still in India he was posted to the 1st and entered France on 16 August 1914.

Between then and the end of year, because of serious losses at Audregnies, La Bassee and First Ypres, the original 1st Battalion ceased to exist and was virtually totally replaced by reinforcements - undoubtedly all reservists. I would think it most likely that George Hughes was sent as a replacement to the 1st rather than as an 'advanced party' for the 2nd. After all as they didn't arrive in France until 17th January, how would he know where to go??

His service number does suggest an enlistment date around 1901/2 (My grandad was 7632 and enlisted in 1903). He would have signed up for 12 years (either 3 active + 7 reserve) or 7 + 5. As one of the older reservists, at 33/4 this might account for him not being called up in August 1914.

If he was serving with the 1st Bn. on the 5 May when he died he was in action in front of Hill 60.

"Early on the morning of the 5th the battalion was ordered forward to the support trenches facing Hill 60. When they got out into the open country around Zillebeke Lake they ran into a heavy shell barrage accompanied by clouds of gas. At this time the gas mask was a primitive affair consisting only of a piece of wadding held over the mouth by elastic bands.

On they went for about 2 miles, reaching Larch Wood near the railway cutting, in mid-morning. Here they joined a depleted battalion of the Bedfordshire regiment, the enemy having now recaptured the hill.

The battalion was ordered to attack. Their attempt to take the hill failed, as did also attempts by the K.O.Y.L.I, and the K.O.S.B." (Ever Glorious - Bernard Rigby)

Hope this helps a bit


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