Jump to content
News Ticker
  • I am now accepting the following payment methods: Card Payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal
  • Latest News

    HARRY WILLIAM CUTHBERT HUGHES, ROYAL NAVY Sub-Lieutenant to Captain - A/Rear Admiral

    Recommended Posts

    After reading the thread about U-30 I had to look at one of my groups and found out it involved U-29......


    Thought you might like to see it anyway.....




    Sub-Lieutenant to Captain, A/Rear Admiral
    1894 to 1945

    Midshipman: July 6th 1894
    a/Sub-Lieutenant: October 15th 1898
    Sub-Lieutenant: November 15th 1898
    Lieutenant: April 1st 1901
    Commander: December 31st 1913
    Captain: December 31st 1918
    a/Rear Admiral: January 7th 1942

    1914-15 STAR
    INTERALLIED VICTORY MEDAL (M.I.D. - M02606/15 – for Dreadnought Submarine Incident)

    Miniature Medals:

    1914-15 STAR
    BRITISH WAR MEDAL: NORTH SEA 1914, 1915, 1916, JUTLAND 31 MAY 16,
    NORTH SEA 1917, NORTH SEA 1918

    As a Commander Hughes was on the bridge of H.M.S. Dreadnought on 18 March 1915, and he played an active part in the ramming and sinking of K/Lt. Otto Eduard Weddigen's submerged U-29. U-29 had broken the surface immediately ahead of Dreadnought after firing a torpedo at HMS Neptune, and Dreadnought cut the submarine in two after a short chase. She almost collided with H.M.S. Temeraire who was also attempting to ram. Dreadnought thus became the only battleship ever to purposefully sink an enemy submarine.

    On 4 January, 1916, he was appointed to leave Dreadnought to await the commissioning of the new battleship Revenge, to be her navigator upon her commissioning. He moved to Marlborough upon the transfer of the flag in 1917.

    H.M.S. Britannia – Midshipman – 1894
    H.M.S. Volage (Training Squadron) - 1895
    H.M.S. Vivid – Midshipman - 1897
    H.M.S. Barracouta – Sub-Lieutenant/Lieutenant – 1900-1904
    H.M.S. Lord Nelson – Lieutenant – 1910-1914
    H.M.S. Dreadnought – Commander - 1914-1916
    H.M.S. Vivid – Commander - 1916-1916
    H.M.S. Revenge – Commander - 1916-1917
    H.M.S. Marlborough – Commander/Captain - 1917-1919
    H.M.S. Boadicea – Captain - 1919-1921
    H.M.S. Blenhem – Captain – 1921
    H.M.S. Diligence – Captain – 1921-1922
    Retired at Own Request – 1922
    Recalled to Duty - 1938
    H.M.S. Aurania – Captain – 23/09/39-17/01/40
    Senior Naval Officer, Aultbea – a/Rear Admiral – 07/01/42-19/10/42
    H.M.S. Haig - Senior Naval Officer, Rye – a/Rear Admiral – 24/11/42 – 01/06/45
    Retired 10/06/45

    Notations from B.M.F.:

    Thanks to Jack Langley:

    Here are his entries in the Navy Lists for 1913, 1921, 1943 and 1944, no mention of DSO though. (Photos)

    Here is his French Legion Of Honour (Chev), He is not in the DSO book or LG for DSO, maybe he was recommended but did not receive it. (Photos)

    Thanks to Bartimeus:

    CW40603 is the Admiralty reference for the papers relating to recommendation for honours for the action in question, the /18 indicating the year. CW indicates that the paper was generated by the Commissions and Warrants Branch of the Admiralty, who were responsible for such matters.

    If the papers have survived they will be in the ADM class of records at The National Archives, but finding them would be difficult as I don't know of any research aid that will convert an old Admiralty reference into a current TNA one. I don't know enough about the WW1 period papers to make any helpful suggestions on that one.

    We can be confident he did not receive a DSO though, so it may be that the notation on his documents is simply an error and was intended to refer to another officer.

    As to his WW2 medal entitlement, I'm not completely convinced that 1939-45 and Atlantic Stars and War Medal is correct. Apart from his brief period assigned to HMS Aurania he spent the entire war in shore appointments. Aurania was commissioned on 1st October 1939 after conversion to Naval service, but Hughes' appointment to her was terminated on 15th January 1940. He would have needed to put in six months operational service for his 1939-45 Star before accumulating service towards the Atlantic Star. His papers also seem to show that he had hospital admissions for heart trouble during October and December 1939. I guess there might be a case for a 1939-45 Star if the illness or injury that put him ashore was due to the strain of active service, but otherwise my guess would be Defence and War Medals only. An enquiry to the MOD Medals Office enclosing a copy of his death certificate would clear it up.

    The better news is that he is entitled to one other unnamed medal - Queen Victoria's 1897 Jubilee Medal (in silver). He earned it as a Midshipman and is confirmed on the roll: (Photo)


    Hi Mike

    From my count of the Admiralty roll I come up with the following:

    Royal Navy (including Coastguard): 1 gold clasp to 1887 medal, 14 silver clasps to 1887 medal, 270 silver medals

    Royal Marines: 1 silver clasp to 1887 medal, 28 silver medals

    The roll is within ADM 171/61, a volume of miscellaneous rolls which can be downloaded free of charge from The National Archives website, at this link:


    It's a very large file - the Jubilee Medal recipients start at page 47 of the volume (40 of the PDF file download) and go on for 12 pages.

    I suspect the issue was limited to Commanders-in-Chief of the various commands and stations worldwide; officers holding personal appointments to the Queen (ADCs and Honorary Physicians); Commanding Officers of vessels present at the Fleet Review held at Spithead; officers appointed as escorts to visiting foreign naval delegations; and representative officers of the contingent sent to London for specific duties during the celebrations there. I would not be surprised if there were a few others made from the Privy Purse allocation (i.e. in the Queen's personal gift), as I can't see anyone in the lists serving in the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert. I know she gave a handful more than appear on the Army roll to officers of the Volunteer Battalion on the Isle of Wight, where she had her residence at Osborne. The extras are noted in Battalion Orders.

    It's noticeable that there are no bronze medals to ratings noted, although there are examples known to Royal Yacht crew. I think this is another reason to suppose other RN personnel received medals from the Privy Purse allocation.

    Kind regards



    H.M.S. Britannia – Midshipman – 1894

    H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES: a 120-gun first rate ship of the line renamed Britannia in 1869, as she replaced the previous vessel in the cadet training role. She was broken up in 1916.

    H.M.S. Volage (Training Squadron) – 1895

    HMS Volage was a Volage-class corvette built for the R.N. in the late 1860s. She spent most of her first commission assigned to the Flying Squadron circumnavigating the world and later carried a party of astronomers to the Kerguelen Islands to observe the transit of Venus in 1874. The ship was then assigned as the senior officer's ship in South American waters until she was transferred to the Training Squadron during the 1880s. Volage was paid off in 1899 and sold for scrap in 1904.

    H.M.S. Vivid – Midshipman – 1897

    HMS Vivid was the Navy barracks at Devonport. It was commissioned in 1890, and operated as a training unit until 1914. The base was renamed HMS Drake in 1934, and as such is still existing, as the name now refers to all of Her Majesty's Naval Base Plymouth.

    H.M.S. Barracouta – Sub-Lieutenant/Lieutenant – 1900-1904

    H.M.S. Barracouta was one of four third class protected cruisers of the Barracouta class completed in 1890. 3rd Class twin screw cruiser of 1,580 tons and 1750-3000 HP, re-commissioned at Simon's Bay 24 Oct 1900. Served between October 1899 and June 1902. Commanded by Commander R H Peirse, Commander H Cotesworth and Commander S H B Ash.

    H.M.S. Lord Nelson – Lieutenant – 1910-1914

    HMS Lord Nelson was a Lord Nelson class pre-dreadnaught battleship launched in 1906 and completed in 1908. She was the R.N.'s last pre- dreadnought. The ship wasflagship of the Channel Fleet when World War I began in 1914. Lord Nelson was transferred to the Mediterranean Sea in early 1915 to participate in the Dardanelles Campaign. She remained there, becoming flagship of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron, which was later redesignated the Aegean Squadron. After the Ottoman surrender in 1918 the ship moved to the Black Sea where she remained as flagship before returning to the United Kingdom in May 1919. Lord Nelson was placed into reserve upon her arrival and sold for scrap in June 1920.

    H.M.S. Dreadnought – Commander – 1914-1916

    HMS Dreadnought was a battleship built for the Royal Navy that revolutionised naval power. Her name and the type of the entire class of warships that was named after her stems from archaic English in which "dreadnought" means "a fearless person" or "a heavy overcoat for stormy weather". Dreadnought's entry into service in 1906 represented such an advance in naval technology that its name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the “dreadnoughts”, as well as the class of ships named after it. The generation of ships she made obsolete became known as “pre-dreadnoughts”. Admiral Sir John Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Board of the Admiralty, is credited as the father of Dreadnought. Shortly after he assumed office, he ordered design studies for a battleship armed solely with 12-inch (305mm) guns and a speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). He convened a "Committee on Designs" to evaluate the alternative designs and to assist in the detailed design work. One ancillary benefit of the Committee was that it would shield him and the Admiralty from political charges that they had not consulted leading experts before designing such a radically different battleship.

    Dreadnought was the first battleship of her era to have a uniform main battery, rather than having a few large guns complemented by a heavy secondary armament of smaller guns. She was also the first capital ship to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest battleship in the world at the time of her completion. Her launch helped spark a naval arms race as navies around the world, particularly the German Imperial Navy, rushed to match it in the build-up to World War I.

    Ironically for a vessel designed to engage enemy battleships, her only significant action was the ramming and sinking of German submarine SMU-29, becoming the only battleship confirmed to have sunk a submarine. Dreadnought did not participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 as she was being refitted. Nor did Dreadnought participate in any of the other World War I naval battles. In May 1916 she was relegated to coastal defence duties in the English Channel, not rejoining the Grand Fleet until 1918. The ship was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap two years later.

    H.M.S. Vivid – Commander – 1916-1916

    HMS Vivid was the Navy barracks at Devonport. It was commissioned in 1890, and operated as a training unit until 1914. The base was renamed HMS Drake in 1934, and as such is still existing, as the name now refers to all of Her Majesty's Naval Base Plymouth. Other, nominal bases, were established for personnel on detached duty and attached to HMS Vivid for accounting purposes also named "Vivid". Vivid I and II were for sections within Devonport, Vivid I being the Seamanship, Signalling and Telegraphy School and Vivid II the Stokers and Engine Room Artificers School, while Vivid III was used for the Royal Naval Division Trawler Section and Vivid IV was used for personnel at Falmouth (Cornwall) and then Queenstown in Southern Ireland from 1922 to 1923. Vivid V was used for Milford Haven (South Wales).

    H.M.S. Revenge – Commander – 1916-1917

    Was the lead ship of the Revenge Class Battleships built for the R.N. During W.W.1. Although the class is often referred to as the Royal Sovereign class, official documents of 1914–1918 refer to it as the Revenge class. She was commissioned in 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland.

    Revenge was present at the battle of Jutland, where she was under the command of Captain E. B. Kiddle, and served in the powerful 1st Battle Squadron, second in line behind Marlborough flying the flag of Vice- Admiral Sir Cecil Burney. The first ship to be engaged by Revenge along with the other ships of the squadron, was the light cruiserS.M.S. Wiesbaden, which had been disabled by the battlecruiser H.M.S. Invincible. Before the Wiesbaden sank, she was able to torpedo the Marlborough, which although already damaged, was able to continue in action. Revenge then engaged the leading German battlecruisers which appeared out of the mist, landing five hits on S.M.S. Derfflinger, two of which caused explosions within the main gun turrets. A single hit was scored on S.M.S. Von der Tann, damaging her superstructure. Finally, Revenge fired her 6-inch batteries against the German 6th and 9th Destroyer Flotillas which had attacked the squadron with torpedoes. Although none of the British ships were hit, in avoiding the incoming torpedoes, the squadron turned away, allowing the German battlecruisers to make good their escape. In the subsequent pursuit, Marlborough had to reduce her speed due to the earlier torpedo damage, so Admiral Burney transferred his flag to Revenge by means of the light cruiser H.M.C. Fearless, although the chase eventually had to be abandoned. Revenge had fired 102 armour piercing shells from her main armament and 87 rounds from her 6-inch guns; she also launched a single 21-inch torpedo without result and had fired at the Zeppelin L11 with her 3-inch anti-aircraft guns.

    H.M.S. Marlborough – Commander/Captain - 1917-1919

    Was an Iron Duke class battleship of the R.N., named in honour of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. She was built at Devonport Royal Dockyard between January 1912 and June 1914, entering service just before the outbreak of W.W. 1. She was armed with a main battery of ten 13.5-inch (340 mm) guns and was capable of a top speed of 21.25 knots (39.36 km/h; 24.45 mph).

    Marlborough served with the Grand Fleet for the duration of the war, primarily patrolling the northern end of the North Sea to enforce the blockade of Germany. She saw action at the Battle of Jutland (31 May – 1 June 1916), where she administered the coup de grace to the badly damaged German cruiser S.M.S. Wiesbaden. During the engagement, Wiesbaden hit Marlborough with a torpedo that eventually forced her to withdraw. The damage to Marlborough was repaired by early August, though the last two years of the war were uneventful, as the British and German fleets adopted more cautious strategies due to the threat of underwater weapons.

    H.M.S. Boadicea – Captain – 27/03/1919 – 10/03/1920

    Was the lead ship of her class of scout cruisers built for the R.N. In the first decade of the 20th century. She led the 1st Destroyer Flotilla from completion until the ship was transferred to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in mid- 1912. A year later Boadicea was reassigned to the 2nd Battle Squadron and she spent the bulk of W.W.1 with that squadron. The ship was present at, but did not fight in, theBattle of Jutland in mid-1916. Boadicea was converted into a minelayer at the end of 1917 and made three sorties to lay her mines before the end of the war. She was placed in active reserve after the war and taken out of service in late 1920. The ship was used for harbour service at Darmouth until she was sold for scrap in 1926.

    H.M.S. Blenhem – Captain – 15/03/1921 – 25/09/1921

    Was a Blake-class first class protected cruiser that served in the Royal Navy from 1890–1926. She was built by Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company at Leamouth, London. The ship was named after the Battle of Blenheim. She served as a depot ship for the Beagles of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean through much of W.W.1. She recommissioned at Malta on 28 June, 1919 and recommissioned on 14 October, 1921. Decommissioned and sold 1926.

    H.M.S. Diligence – Captain – 30/09/1921- 01/01/1922

    HMS Diligence (1915) was a destroyer depot ship, formerly the civilian Tabaristan, purchased in October 1915. She was scrapped in 1926.

    H.M.S. Aurania – Captain – 23/09/39-17/01/40

    Peacetime career

    As one of the post-Great War "A-class" ocean liners, RMS Aurania was built by Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. at their Wallsend-on- Tyne yard for Cunard and launched on 6 February 1924. Her sisters included RMS Alaunia and RMS Ausonia. With the merger of Cunard and the White Star Line in 1933, she continued to serve with the resulting company, Cunard White Star Ltd.

    Wartime career

    With war looming, she was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 30 August 1939 and converted to serve as an armed merchant cruiser, which involved the fitting of a number of guns. The conversion was completed on 2 October 1939. On completion of the work she entered service protecting trade sailing through the North Atlantic, covering the convoys. She was initially assigned to the Northern Patrol, followed by the Bermuda and Halifax Escort Force and then the North Atlantic Escort Force.

    Senior Naval Officer, Aultbea – a/Rear Admiral – 07/01/42-19/10/42

    HMS Flora was commissioned as a naval base at Invergordon in the Cromarty Firth, an offshoot of the Moray Firth, on 1 Oct 1939. It paid off on 16 Jul 1945. The name was also used for a base at Aultbea in Loch Ewe.
    HMS Flora II was commissioned as the Coastal Forces base at Invergordon on 1 Sep 1942. On 4 Nov 1943 it dropped its ‘II’ prefix but continued to use the name HMS Flora.

    H.M.S. Rye / Haig - Senior Naval Officer, Rye – a/Rear Admiral – 24/11/42 – 01/06/45

    HMS Rye / Haig - Combined Operations Training Base Rye. Base was commissioned on 20/8/43 and paid off on 15/9/43. Re-commissioned on 2/2/44 and paid off on 10/1/45.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.