Robert James Hughes

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: September 1914
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Clyde Z/340
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: RNVR
  • Unit/Ship: Hood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death:
  • Age at Death: 26
  • Date of Death: 06.01.1918
  • Burial Country: Scotland
  • Cemetery: Dundee (Balgay) Cemetery
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: BB.4.196

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 4 Earl Street, Lochee.
  • Occupation: Joiner
  • Mother:

    Elizabeth Yule Hughes, 4 Earl St, Lochee

  • Father:

    David Hughes, 4 Earl St, Lochee

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Robert James Hughes

Robert died of wounds.

Robert Hughes   CZ/340 Hood Battalion Royal Naval Division

HUGHES___Died of wounds in hospital, 6th January, A.B. Robert Hughes, R.N.D., second son of David Hughes, 4 Earl Street, Lochee.

Dundee Courier 8th November 1918

Robert J Hughes was the son of Mr David and Mrs Elizabeth Yule Hughes of 4 Earl Street, Lochee and worked as a Joiner when he joined up. In September 1914 he was one of the first to volunteer to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in South London he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training. On completion he joined the Collingwood Battalion in January 1915. The Collingwoods landed in Gallipoli in late May 1915 and took part in the Third Battle of Krithia on 4 June 1915. This was their first and last action because, as they advanced towards the enemy line, they were caught in heavy Turkish artillery and machinegun fire. The number of dead and wounded was very high and the Battalion was disbanded two days later. The survivors were distributed to the other RND battalions to replace their losses and Robert Hughes was sent to the Howe Battalion. In September he became ill with dysentery and was evacuated to Britain on the Hospital Ship Aquitania. In late October 1915 he was granted leave and reported back to Blandford Camp on his return. He remained there until September 1916 when he was drafted to the Hood Battalion in France. He reached the Hood just before the Battalion took part in the last phase of the Somme battle. One of the first day’s objectives of the British attack on 1 July 1916 was the capture of the village of Beaucourt just to the west of the River Ancre. It was finally taken on 14 November by the men of the RND. This was the first major operation by the RND in France and established a reputation for being a “Can Do” Division. However, the casualty list was very long and over 30 local men were killed and countless more wounded. Robert Hughes survived that battle and the Puisieux, River Trench and Miraumont assaults in February 1917. In April he was hospitalised again, probably with a leg ulcer, and was evacuated to hospital in Leeds. He returned to the Hood via Blandford after another leave and arrived back in France in June but became ill with a severe ear infection in July. In August he was fit enough to return to the front and took part in the Passchendaele battle in October. He received a gunshot wound in this battle and was evacuated to a hospital in Eastbourne. Unfortunately he did not recover from his injuries and, in January 1918, Robert Hughes died from his wounds in the hospital. He is buried in the Balgay Hill Cemetery in Dundee, Grave Reference BB 4 No 196. His brother, Able Seaman David Hughes Clyde Z/282, served at Gallipoli with the Drake Battalion and then in France. He survived the war and was demobilised in 1919.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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