Hughes, Robert (No. 17904)

Hughes, Robert (Bertie)


No. 17904, 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Young Citizen Volunteers)

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 18)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Hamilton Road Bangor Presbyterian Church

Bangor Grammar School

Brother of Rifleman William Tate Hughes (No. 14938)


Robert Hughes was born on 20 February 1898 in Belfast and he was the second son of Hugh Campbell Hughes and Elizabeth Hughes (nee Tate) who were married on 19 December 1893 in Cliftonville Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Hugh Hughes from Larne was a son of Robert Hughes, a merchant.  Elizabeth Tate from Carnmoney was a daughter of William Tate, a coal merchant.

In 1901 Hugh Campbell Hughes was working as a shop manager and the Hughes family boarded with the Patterson family in Carnmoney.

In the early 1900s the Hughes family moved to Bangor where Hugh ran his own shop – Ballyholme Stores – and they lived at 128 Ballyholme Road.

Hugh and Elizabeth Hughes had at least six children:

Constance (born 13 December 1894 at 93 Upper Canning Street, Belfast)

William Tate (born 16 September 1896 at 26 Queen Street, Belfast)

Robert (Bertie, born 20 February 1898 in Belfast)

Dorothea Elizabeth (born 13 February 1900 in Carnmoney)

Rowland Edward (born 22 January 1902 in Ballyduff)

Campbell Speers (born 2 October 1903 in Bangor)

Their father, Hugh, died on 1 June 1925 (aged 65) and their mother, Elizabeth, died on 7 June 1931 (aged 65).

Robert (Bertie) was the first of the two brothers to be killed in action.

Bertie Hughes attended Bangor Grammar School from 1909 to 1913.  He enlisted in Belfast, served with the 14th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 109th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was 18 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Initially Bertie Hughes was reported as missing in action and before presumption of his death was officially confirmed his brother William was killed in action on 14 November 1916.

Rifleman Bertie Hughes has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 17) and on the Memorial Plaques in the Royal British Legion Bangor Branch, Hamilton Road Bangor Presbyterian Church and Bangor Grammar School.