Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes was born in Clapton, London on 11th March, 1920. He was the eldest son of Thomas Griffiths Hughes, a haberdasher's assistant from Stoke Newington, and Elizabeth Ellen Kershaw, a lady's maid from Bethnal Green. The couple also had two other children, Muriel Hughes and Stella Hughes.

He went to school in Clapton and Stoke Newington before leaving at the age of fourteen to work as a warehouseman and trainee salesman in London.

In 1940 he was called up to join the British Army for military training. The following year he was sent to Egypt to take part in the Desert War.

He was at Tobruk but got pushed back to El Alamein where he was wounded in the arm and was hospitalized in Alexandria.

He returned to duty and took part in Operation Lightfoot and Operation Supercharge. He was also involved in the capture of Tunisia in on 11th May, 1943 and the war in Italy in 1944. He remained on duty until arriving back in Liverpool in August 1945.

After the war his brother-in-law, John Simkin, introduced him to my future wife, Eileen Kane, who he married on 28th June, 1947. They lived in Loughton before moving to Rayleigh in 1960. He worked as a commercial traveller until his retirement in 1985.

Jack Hughes being inspected by General Bernard Montgomery
Jack Hughes being inspected by General Bernard Montgomery

Primary Sources

(1) Jack Hughes, interview (June, 2001)

I was called up in 1940 to join the army for military training. I was told to report on the 13th June to Winchester Barracks as a rifleman.

In March 1941 I was drafted to Egypt. I arrived six months later at a place called Port Taufiq. It was very hot (108 degrees). We were there a couple of weeks then we joined the Kings Royal Rifle Corps B Company. From there we moved into the desert proper.

I was at Tobruk but we got pushed back to El Alamein where I was hit by shrapnel and ended up in hospital at Alexandria. When I came out a month later I rejoined the battalion to get ready for the big push on 23rd October, 1942 at El Alamein.

We got detailed to clear the way of mines by bayonet proding. We then started the push in our carriers to Tunis that took about six months. We had a visit by Montgomery and I had my photograph taken with him.

The next lot of action was Italy 1944. That took to the end of the war. We got the ship to Liverpool from Naples. It was not until August, 1945, that I got home.