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Posted: 06.11.17

Christ College Remembers . . . Private Lewis Hughes

Lewis Hughes, the son of a Carmarthen doctor, joined Christ College in 1900. Known as ‘Lewie’, he was said to be “one of the brightest and more cheerful of mischievous spirits, ever happy and ever ready for a jest”.

Lewis left Christ College at Christmas 1902, and started training at the Agricultural College when his family moved to Cirencester after the death of his father. He worked at the Capital and Counties Bank for some time before emigrating to Canada in 1911 to commence farming.

On 18th February 1916 he enlisted in Calgary, joining the 31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment). Private Lewis Hughes arrived in France on 21st January 1917. He was one of the 7,000 Canadians injured in the Battle of Vimy Ridge (9th-12th April 1917), a battle in which 3,598 Canadians died and which came to symbolize Canadian sacrifice for the British Empire. He was hospitalized for several months and returned to his Battalion in time for the Second Battle of Passchendaele (26th October-10th November 1917).

Private Lewis Hughes was killed as his Battalion successfully took the village of Passchendaele on 6th November 1917. The Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard reported that he was “a good son, a fine straightforward, honourable, manly, steady young fellow, whose death at the early age of 32, is, as well as being a severe blow to his relatives and friends, a very great loss to the country of his adoption, where he was just beginning to make his mark.”

Private Lewis Hughes is buried at the Passchendaele New British Cemetery and is remembered on the Christ College War Memorial.

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