Every Name A Story Content

Hughes, C.A., Pte., 1916

C.A. Hughes

Map of La Boisselle

Plaque at Lochnagar Crater

CWGC headstone at Ovillers: Lynne Irving

In Ovillers Military Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 24/611 Private Charles Aloysius Hughes, serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers who died 01/07/1916.

Lynne Irving has submitted the following:

My great, great uncle Charles A. Hughes volunteered for the 24th Tyneside Irish Northumberland Fusiliers in late 1914, joining in Newcastle.

He had been working in the mines along with his father and brother also his brother in-law. At the time the mines had been on short time and money was short. His father was Robert Hughes and his mother was Ann Dougherty. At the time of his enlistment he was living at No. 2 Owen Terrace, Tantobie. His brother Robert Thomas Hughes joined the Royal Engineers and his brother-in-law George Allison of 21 South View Tantobie joined the 8th Service Northumberland Fusiliers. George was presumed dead in Turkey in 1915 leaving a widow Margaret and a son John. Charles’s friend Alex English also joined the 24th Tyneside Irish and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry. Alex died of wounds September 1916. (His father John English was best friend and Best man of Charles' father Robert). He is buried in Contalmaison Chateau Cemetery.

Charles fought on the famous Tara/Usna Ridge on the Somme in July 1916. He was missing, presumed dead, on the 1st July. His body was later discovered at the bottom of the hill near La Boisselle. He was identified by his name disc which had been fastened to his braces. The vast majority of men in the 24th had been miners. To identify who had filled the coal tubs the men were given tokens which were fastened to their braces during working hours. So when men enlisted their name discs became known as ‘me tokens’ which again they fastened to their braces instead of their neck. This was okay until the soldier was killed in action. The burial party would come along, open the neck of the soldier’s tunic but could find no disc. This resulted in high numbers of unknown soldiers.

Charles was re buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery. He was 25 years of age. He left behind a girl friend Mary Anne who never married and became affectionately known as Aunt Mary Anne by the family.

A diary of the events from the formation of the 24th Tyneside Irish has been compiled by Lynne Irving in honour of her great-great uncle and added below.

Charles Aloysius Hughes is remembered at Tanfield in T35.04

The CWGC entry for Private Hughes

The story of the 24th Tyneside Irish

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk