Charles Henry Hughes

Memorial: Olveston

Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 30581

Parents: George and Elizabeth Hughes

Marital status: Married

Home address: Tockington, Bristol

Pre-war occupation: Farm Worker

Date of birth: 1886

Place of birth: Hill, Glos

Date of death: 30/03/1918

Buried/Commemorated at: Pozieres British Cemetery Memorial (Panel 40 and 41), Ovillers La Boisselle, France

Age: 32

Further information:

Charles’ parents were George and Elizabeth and they came from Berkeley and Rockhampton respectively. Initially the family lived at Rockhampton, but by 1894 the parents and their four children had moved to Hill, where George was employed as a farm labourer at Canada Farm and where three more children were born, including Charles. Charles's future wife Alice also lived in Hill, where she was in service, when they married they moved to Awkley, living in a cottage close to the chapel, where they had no well, relying on the rhine to provide them with water. After the arrival of their son William, they moved to a cottage next to Mustay Field in Tockington, while Charles worked at the nearby Home Farm. William’s brothers, Leonard and Frederick, were born in Tockington in 1913 and 1916. Mrs Hughes’ brother Ivor, who had slicked-back dark hair, used to visit from Bristol and in an attempt to emulate their city living uncle the two older boys put black treacle on their hair. It was at about this time that Charles decided to join the army

On enlisting at Bristol, Charles was initially assigned to the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment but was subsequently transferred to the 13th Battalion known as the Forest of Dean Pioneers. By March the 12th 1918 the 13th Battalion had moved to Beaumetz lès Cambrai working on the defensive line under XIX Corps

During the night of the 21/22 of March they moved to Templeux la Fosse and fought a rearguard action as they retired through Péronne and Cléry to take up positions near Herbécourt as the Germans began their ‘Great Offensive’ or ‘Kaiserschlacht’. On the 24th of March the Battalion moved to Cappy and, overnight, moved on to Bois Olimpe spending the next day fighting another rearguard action. On the 27th they moved to Morcourt and were heavily attacked leaving the right flank of the line exposed. They were practically surrounded and orders were received to fight their way back to Harbonnieres. On the 28th they had established a new position in a wood south-east of Marcelcave where, once again, they were heavily attacked. In that engagement they lost 5 officers and 152 other ranks. Charles Henry Hughes died of his wounds on the 30th of March 1918 leaving a wife and three boys in Tockington. He is remembered on the Pozières Memorial some four miles to the north-east of Albert, together with Frederick Addis who died in the same German onslaught

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Forces War Records and CWGC