An article in the Express & Star which appeared on 4 October 1915 stated proudly that Mrs Hughes, of 4 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, had four sons serving with the colours:
- Gunner William Hughes, who had belonged to the Old Volunteers and later the Territorials, before joining the Royal Field Artillery.
- Sergeant Charles Hughes, who had also belonged to the Old Volunteers and later the Territorials, before joining the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment
- Corporal A. Hughes, who joined the Territorials a month before the outbreak of war, and was with the 2/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment
- Private T. Hughes who enlisted immediately war was declared in the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment
This was the family of Joseph and Sarah Hughes. In 1891 and in 1901, they were living at 3 Russell Street, Wolverhampton, with children Lavinia, Joseph H. V., James, Mary, Ruth, William (born 1883), Charles (born 1884), Alfred (born 1888), Florence M., Edith, Thomas (born around 1897) and Albert. By 1901, William was a Glass plate worker, Charles was a brass dresser and Alfred was an Art Japanner. Thomas was only 4 years old in 1901.
Charles married Emily Squire in 1906, and they had at least three children – Elsie May, Charles Reginald and Arthur. By 1911 they were living at 2 Drayton Street, Wolverhampton, and Charles was a metal pattern maker at a brass foundry. A widowed Sarah Hughes appears at 4 Lime Street, Wolverhampton, in 1911, together with her remaining children still living at home – James, Tom and Albert Edward. By this date, Tom has become a Tailor’s Presser. I have not been able to confirm details of William and Alfred from the 1911 census.
I have also been unable to confirm William’s or Alfred’s military service details. Information on the other two brothers:
- Charles enlisted at Willenhall with the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 790), first as a Corporal and then as a Sergeant. He served in France from 5 March 1915, but was killed in action on 13 October 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, as well as on the memorial of St Chad and St Mark’s Church.
- Thomas enlisted at Wolverhampton with the 1/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (first number 2301, and then 240286), rising to the rank of Sergeant. He served in France from 5 March 1915, but he died of wounds on 4 May 1918 in France, and is commemorated at the Etaples Military Cemetery. As is brother appears on there, he is also likely to be the “T. Hughes” listed on the memorial of St Chad and St Mark’s Church. An “A. Hughes” also appears on this memorial, so it is possible that at least three of the brothers did not survive the war.