|2nd Lieutenant Lionel Holford HUGHES|
3rd (Reserve) Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment attached to D Company, 1st Battalion
Date of birth: 25th July 1895
Date of death: 29th October 1914
Killed in action aged 19
Commemorated at Ration Farm Military Cemetery on a special memorial near Plot VI Row M
|Holford Hughes was born at Wychdon Lodge, at Weston near Stafford on the 25th of July 1895 the only child of Allen Edward Hughes, an earthenware manufacturer, and Evelyn Emma (nee Plant) Hughes of Wychdon Lodge later of "Cintra", Coastguard Road, Budleigh Salterton in Devon.
He was educated at St Ronan’s School, Worthing from September 1904 to July 1909 where he was a member of the 3rd Cricket XI in 1905 and the 1st Cricket XI in 1909. The school wrote of his 1909 season: - " A very useful bat, with some nice shots; he may in time make a good bowler." He went on to Lancing College where he won an Exhibition and was in Seconds House from September 1909 to December 1913. He was a Cadet Officer in the Officer Training Corps, achieving Certificate A and was a member of the Shooting VII in 1912 and 1913. He was a member of the Cricket XI in 1913 and of the Running Team the same year. He played 2nd XI football in 1912/13 and for the 1st XI in 1913. He was Captain of Running in 1912 and 1913. He represented the school at Bisley for two years, won the School Mile and the Steeplechase in 1913 as well as coming second in the Five Mile. He was appointed as a House Captain and as a Librarian in September 1912 and as a Prefect in September 1913. He was also Head of House. He achieved his School Certificate in 1913.
While still at school he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, Special Reserve of Officers on the 26th of April 1913. He was transferred as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment on the 6th of March 1914 and spent some time training in Ireland. Following the outbreak of war he landed in France on the 21st of September 1914 leading the first draft of 100 replacements for the regiment where he was attached to the 1st Battalion. He did not return to England, instead he spent the next month at a base before joining his battalion in the field on the 27th of October while they were in billets at Fleurbaix.
The following day the battalion relieved the 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in trenches at Rue du Bois and spent the day attempting to remove the large number of German bodies which had built up in front of the trench. On the 29th of October 1914 Lionel Hughes was killed by a stray shell.
The diary entry of an unknown non commissioned officer from D Company for the 29th of October reads: -
"Heavy shelling all day. Lieutenant Hughes, who has only been with us four days, killed. I had just given him a cup of tea, and he returned to his tunnel when he was hit by a shell, which also killed Private Dewsbury and wounded Sergeant Rushton."
His father received the following telegram dated the 4th of November 1914: -
"Deeply regret to inform you that 2nd Lieut. L.H. Hughes N. Staffs Regt. was killed 30-31 October. Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy."
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Vigant William de Falbe DSO wrote:-
“He was killed today by a shell in the trenches near Rue du Bois, a small village two miles south of Armentieres. He was killed instantaneously, and is buried on the west side of the Armentieres-Wavrin Railway, and 300 yards north west of the level crossing at Rue du Bois. The grave is marked with a cross inscribed with his name and regiment, and there should be no difficulty in identifying it.”
The Battalion Adjutant wrote from North Raglan Barracks at Devonport wrote: -
"It was such a terrible shock to all of us to hear of your son's death as we were all so fond of him and he was such a cheerful companion and a real hard worker....he was genuinely popular."
His medals were sold at auction in November 2018.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at St Peter's Church, Hixon, Staffordshire, on the war memorial at Berkswich, North Staffordshire and on the Dover war memorial. He is also commemorated on the memorial at Budleigh Salterton, Devon and on the memorial at St Ronan's School. He is remembered on his father’s grave at St Peter’s Church, Moor Land, Budleigh Salterton.