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James Hughes

1340 Private

11th Battalion, Royal Scots, 27th Infantry Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division

Age: 31

Date of Death: Died of Wounds 13.10.17

Buried: Dozinghem Military Cem IX.F.8

Family history: Son of James and Margaret Hughes, 29 Kerse Lane, Falkirk. He had been a Territorial since their formation from the Militia in 1908 and was employed at Sunnyside Foundry as a moulder. Wounded three time and gassed. His brother Thomas, a Private in the Royal Scots, was killed in action on 12 February 1916 and is buried in Rifle House Cemetery. (See his listing) His other brother John also enlisted on 27 October 1917 and survived the war.

The action leading to his death

The battalion moved into the line at Poelcappelle on the evening of the 10/11th October. Along the left boundary of the Division ran the Lekkerboterbeek stream. The area was studded with fortified farms and houses. The weather was abysmal and the forming up positions were heavily shelled with gas and HE resulting in heavy casualties.

(Linesman map)

The attack began at 5.35am with a creeping barrage however, the leading formations lost their direction immediately owing to the ground and the conditions. The 11th Royal Scots, were on the right of the advance in support. The leading company on the right became held up by a Pill-box near the front line and this held up the whole advance. A combined assault by men of all units on the Pill-box, the occupants of which had shown a white flag but continued to firing, eventually captured the obstacle and the garrison was killed and four machine-guns captured. With the barrage now far in front, the troops exhausted and disorganized and nothing was to be gained it was decided to consolidate the line from the Cemetery near Wallemolen in front of Inch Houses back to the original start line. Battalion casualties were 5 Officers killed and 3 wounded; 21 other ranks killed and 165 wounded, and 30 other ranks missing.

Medals Awarded:

1914 Star & Clasp, The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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