Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Unknown Soldier

When we were kids my mother told us about a relation of her mothers more than likely one of the Hughes from Annaghdown, Co Galway who was killed in World War 1. Based on that info my brother Donal arranged for a British War Records researcher to try and track down any Hughes from Galway who fought in World War 1. The search turned up a man from Tuam but the details of the man did not really fit. There the investigation rested until we found out that my Aunt Lena had a photo of the man.

I scanned the image and sent it to Donal, in an amazing piece of internet detective work, within 15 minutes he mailed me back with this clear image of the cap badge

and Collar badge.

Now we had enough info to find out who the picture was of. We engaged the British War Records researcher once more and within a few weeks we had our mans war records. Needless to say they raise as many questions as they answer.

Full Name:   Private Martin James Hughes
War:    World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No.:   40216
Date of Birth: 7/11/1891
Place of Birth:   Gardenham, Drumgriffin, Co. Galway, Ireland
Height:    5’6”
Weight:    127 lb
Chest-measurement:  Min 31” Max 34”
Vaccination marks:  Right Arm
Complexion:   Fair
Colour of eyes:   Grey
Religion:   RC
Arrived in New Zealand: 1911

First Known Rank:  Private
Place of Enlistment:  Appelby, Nelson
Date of Enlistment:  10/11/1916
Occupation before Enlistment: Carpenter
Nationality: New Zealand
Body on Embarkation:  New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit: 23rd Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Embarkation Date:  2 April 1917
Place of Embarkation:  Wellington, New Zealand
Transport:   HMNZT 80
Vessel:    Corinthic (Ships master was Captain F. Hart)
Destination:   Plymouth, England
Date of Disembarkation: 10th June and marched into Camp Sling on the 11th
Left for France:   6/7/1917
Regiment/Service: Canterbury Infantry Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Unit Text: 2nd Bn. 2nd company
Age: 25
Wounded in Action:  18/8/1917
Place of injury:   Loudon/Loudou???
Date of Death: 20/08/1917
Place of Death:   No.26 General Hospital Etaples
Cause of Death: Died of wounds received in action (Right Hip, Gas Gangrene)

Medals:    British War Medal, Victory Medal
Additional information: Son of Mr. Patrick and Mary Hughes, of Gardenham, Drumgriffin P.O., Co. Galway, Ireland.
Brother of Patrick Hughes, P.O. Waimate , South Canterbury
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: XXII. Q. 20A.