The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Owen Richard Hughes

HUGHES, Owen Richard

Owen Richard Hughes was born in Holyhead in 1889 to Owen Thomas Hughes, a Tailor, and Margaret Williams who married in 1884. Owen was the third of seven children, though the 1891 census shows another son born in 1879, who may have been from an earlier marriage. In that census the family were living in Market Street, but moved to 9 Boston Street before 1901, both in the harbour area.

In the 1911 census the eldest boy, Hugh, then aged twenty five was a ‘Shunter’ with the London and North West Railway and a younger brother, Edward, aged nineteen was ‘Ship’s Cook’ with the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. Owen Richard cannot be found in that census, but not long after he returned to Holyhead and, like Edward, worked as ‘Officers Steward’ or ‘Crew’s Cook’ on the Mailboats. He was on RMS Connaught in 1915 and reportedly was on the same ship when it was torpedoed and sunk in 1917.

He survived that sinking, but was not so lucky in October 1918. The North Wales Chronicle reported his death, describing him as ‘Crew’s Steward’. He was recovered from the sea but was suffering from severe burns. He was taken to the King George V Hospital in Dublin where he died on the 17th October, the cause of death given as ‘Burns and Shock’.

He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and the British War Medal. He is buried at Maeshyfryd Cemetery, Holyhead and is also commemorated on a memorial plaque at Tabernacle Chapel, Thomas Street, Holyhead.


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