Rank: Private 389374
Regiment or Ship: Army Service Corps
Service Number(s): 389374
Date of Birth: 1878
Place of Birth: Lewisham, London
Date of Death: 1951
Place of Death: Bexhill on SeaAddress: 44 Sackville Road, Bexhill on Sea
Photos and newspaper articles
Wife: Eleanor Hughes b. 1877, Ashford, Kent
Son: Frank Hughes b. 1910, Bexhill on Sea
David Hughes. Grandson of Edward Hughes. Living, Duke Street, Bexhill on Sea
First World War Experience
Previously served, pre-war, in the Sussex Yeomanry.
By 1917 he was serving with B Company 4th Sussex Volunteer Regiment, the local Volunteer unit.
His service with the regular army was with the Army service Corps based in Venice
At the age of 39 or 40, Ted, in 1917 or 1918, was conscripted and served in the Army Service Corps (ASC). His army service number was 389372. At the time of his call-up he was the owner of the shop “E. Hughes, Family Butcher” at 44 Sackville Road, Bexhill. Of the postcards he sent home, to his wife, the first is dated the “10 May 1918. Dear Nell, I hope you got my letter safely and mind you do not worry. I am quite all right and well. Much love,Ted”. It would appear that he was based in Northern Italy as most of the postcard pictures are of that area.
He had been a member of The ‘Sussex Yeomanry Regiment Territorial Army’ and these men were often transferred to the Army Service Corps (ASC). In the British Army WW1 Medal Rolls it just records “Edward Hughes Pte A/389374” on the General Service Medal Roll.
Years later his daughter, born in 1930, asked what he had done during the war and he replied that he had been in the Cavalry, not strictly accurate.
“ALLY SLOPER’S CAVALRY comes from Ally Sloper, a character drawn by W. F. Thomas in popular pre-war papers such as Ally Sloper’s Weekly. The ASC, due to their good pay, comfortable conditions and comparative safety, were regarded by the infantry as not proper soldiers at all. When the ASC acquired their well-earned Royal prefix in 1918, to become the RASC, their nickname was changed to Run Away, Someone’s Coming!
The unsung heroes of the British Army in the Great War were the ASC, “Ally Sloper’s Cavalry”, were the men who operated the transport. Soldiers cannot fight without food, equipment and ammunition. In the Great War, the vast majority of this tonnage supplying a vast army on many fronts was supplied from England. Using horsed and motor vehicles, railways and waterways, the ASC performed prodigious feats of logistics and were one of the great strengths of organization by which the war was won.
The last postcard to his son Frank from Italy is dated “20 Dec 18. My Dearest Frank, A line to let you know that I am quite well and hope you and Mum are the same. I only have two more days and then I start for home and by the time you get this I shall be well on the way. I sent Mum a few lines telling her. I hope you will have a jolly Xmas. I shall have mine on the train. Love from Dad”.
The card after censoring is postmarked the 23 December 1918.
Upon demobilization, Edward re-opened his butchers shop.