John James HUGHES

HUGHES, John James

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 24 March 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Pirie, South Australia, 11 October 1875
Home Town: Mount Barker, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Natural causes, South Australia, 8 June 1962, aged 86 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Mount Barker Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

24 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Major, Adelaide, South Australia
18 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Major, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
20 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Major, SN Officer, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
20 Jul 1916: Imprisoned Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
14 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Major, 32nd Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Adelaide Botanic High School

Major J.J. Hughes served as 2nd in command of the 32nd Battalion during the battle of Fromelles after enlisting on the 24th of March 1915. He had previously served for Australia, being a major in the 10th infantry regiment as early as 1907. He had lived in Mount Barker Springs, South Australa, working as a clerk. During the attack on Fromelles, the Australians attempted to take over German trenches and made it as far as the 3rd line when Major Hughes was shot in the left thigh. He was wounded at around 11PM on the 19th July, 1916, and reported missing the next day. Major Hughes managed to crawl back to no-mans land, where his wound was dressed, and he continued to give orders from the ground. Major Hughes was a courageous man, and refused help from ally soldiers who would have risked their lives carrying him back to friendly trenches. One soldier reported him saying "I don't want to be taken prisoner." On the 20th of July, 1916 Major Hughes was taken prisoner by the Germans, and taken to Ohrdurf Hospital as a prisoner of war. Sometime between the 20th of July 1916, and the 13th of June, 1918, after his wound had healed he was transfered to Clauthal, Germany as a prisoner of war. Accoring to a letter writen to his mother on the 17th of February 1918, Major Hughes was in good spirits, despite his wound, and was keeping himself busy in prison by lecturing other inmates about Australia. His lectures gathered great interest, and he gave a total of six before being repatriated into Holland at the end of the war. Major Hughes lived in Holland for over 6 months before leaving for England on the 22nd of Janurary 1919. Major Hughes would have staying in England but felt he was needed back home in Australia. He had family waiting for him, just like many other soldiers. On the 31st of March 1919 he embarked for Australia.