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eMedals-An Extensive First War Military Medal Group to an OPP Officer

Item: C2819

An Extensive First War Military Medal Group to an OPP Officer

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An Extensive First War Military Medal Group to an OPP Officer

An Extensive First War Military Medal Group to an OPP Officer - Military Medal, George V (8541 Cpl - L. SJT: - F. HUGHES. 3/C. GDS:); 1914 Star with 5th AUG.-22nd NOV. 1914 (Mons) clasp (8541 Pte F. HUGHES. C. GDS:); British War Medal (8541 SJT. F. HUGHES. C. GDS.); Victory Medal (8541 SJT. F. HUGHES. C. GDS.); Canadian Volunteer Service Medal; War Medal 1939-1945; and Coronation Medal 1911. Court-mounted, original ribbons wrapped around a cardboard support, dark patinas on the silver medals, contact marks and surface wear, better than very fine. Accompanied by a Coldstream Guards Cap Badge (bronze, 44.8 mm x 45.7 mm, intact lugs), an Ontario Provincial Police Cap Badge (bronze gilt, 39.5 mm x 46 mm, two intact screwposts, one with a screwback), copies of his First World War Coldstream Guards Index Cards, Attestation Paper and Service Records, copies of his Second World War Canadian Army Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records and Discharge Certificate, Department of Veteran Affairs Death Notification, two original letters from the Ontario Provincial Police in Orillia, Ontario, a Scrapbook (compiled between 1968 and 1972, containing three black and white photographs of Hughes: in his Canadian Army uniform, in his Ontario Provincial Police uniform in front of District Headquarters Number 6, and with CKCB 1400 Station Manager Bob Robinson accepting the Collingwood Mayor of the Day trophy in 1966, along with assorted published newspaper clippings involving letters to the Editors of the Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin and the Collingwood Times and various newspaper articles), along with assorted research papers. (C:4)    Footnote: Frederick Arthur Hughes was born on January 21, 1890 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, the son of Arthur William Hughes and Sarah Hughes. He attended King Edward Grammar School in Birmingham, where he finished three years of high school, the equivalent of Grade Nine, then left school at the age of 14, to enter the work world. He was employed as an Invoice Clerk in a Manufacturers Order Office in London for four years, from 1904 to 1908 and took night school courses in sculpture, drawing, English shorthand and typing. Hughes enlisted with the Coldstream Guards, signing his Attestation Paper on December 2, 1909 in Birmingham, at the age of 21, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Clerk. He joined his unit the following week at Waterham, Kent on the 9th. He was treated at Grosvenor Road Hospital for an abscess in his right foot, from July 2 to August 22, 1910, one of many injuries and hospitalizations he would endure in his military career. During his hospital stay, the Coldstream Guards were mobilized at London on August 6th, with Hughes joining them after his discharge and subsequently passed a Swimming Course at Aldershot on November 10th. Hughes was awarded the Coronation Medal 1911 but that wasn't the only event that Hughes was involved in that year. He acknowledged in a letter to the Editor of the Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin in May 1971 that he was in London during the "Peter the Printer" (Russian) Riots" (actually Painter). When the shooting started, there was a mad scramble for cover, with the husky six foot two inch Hughes almost knocking down the five foot seven inch Home Secretary (later First Lord of the Admiralty and Prime Minister), Winston Churchill. The event came to be known as the Siege of Sydney Street (AKA the Battle of Stepney), a notorious gunfight in London's East End on January 3, 1911. It was preceded by the Houndsditch murders, which ended with the death of two members of a politically motivated gang of burglars and international anarchists supposedly led by Peter Piatkow (AKA Peter the Painter). The event sparked a major political row over the involvement of then Home Secretary Winston Churchill, who had made a controversial visit during the siege. There was some uncertainty as to whether Churchill attempted to give operational commands, with his presence there attracting much criticism. Hughes was transferred to the Army Reserve upon expiration of his three year period of Army Service, on December 2, 1912, the records stating that "no offence during (his) whole service of 3 years". Upon the outbreak of the First World War, Hughes was re-called for war service with the Coldstream Guards. He was with the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards, when they embarked Southampton on August 12, 1914, arriving for service in the French theatre the next day. They were one of two battalions of the Coldstream Guards who were in the 4th Guards' Brigade, that fought the rear guard action for the 2nd Division of the British Expeditionary Force at the Battle of Mons. The British were outnumbered four to one but fought a gallant fight, holding the Germans at bay, before the infamous Retreat from Mons, where Hughes declared that they "dug in 10 times and marched 270 miles in terrific heat". He sprained his ankle and was transferred to base on September 6th, rejoining his unit on the 22nd. Hughes was wounded in action and admitted to No. 3 Field Ambulance with a gun shot wound to his arm, on February 1, 1915. He was transferred to No. 1 Stationary Hospital at Chocques, then discharged to duty. On the night of March 23rd, he injured his left foot and was admitted to No. 11 General Hospital at Boulogne, on March 30, 1915. The injury hampered his abilities, forcing him to be discharged to Convalescent Camp on April 25th, then invalided to England on May 1st. Hughes returned to France, later admitted to No. 12 General Hospital at Boulogne with a "poisoned foot" on October 24, 1915. He was invalided to England, re-treated then returned to France a third time, embarking Southampton on October 4, 1916, joining the Guards Division at the Base Depot on the 5th and posted to the 3rd Battalion on the 11th. During 1917, he was to see four advances in rank. He was appointed Lance Corporal on March 6, 1917, then appointed Acting Corporal on September 30th. Hughes attended the 5th Army Musketry School beginning on October 21st, for three weeks, before rejoining the Battalion on November 13th. It was during this time that he was promoted to Corporal on October 30th. Three weeks after joining the Battalion, he was appointed Lance Sergeant on December 3rd. During 1918, Hughes was attached to the 13th Corps Gas School, from February 17 to 23, 1918 and to the 13th Corps Bomb School, from April 7 to 26, 1918, followed by his final promotion to Sergeant on July 1, 1918. It is noted that in 1915, while with the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, he served on a Special Task Force during the Mesopotamian campaign and was decorated with the Military Medal for his service during the assault on Gallipoli in the Dardanelles, although the medal was not issued until 1918, making this suspect. Hughes was awarded the Military Medal "for bravery in the field", as mentioned in the Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette 30797 of Friday, July 12, 1918, on Tuesday, July 16, 1918, page 8319. Hughes was admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital at Dudley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham on January 15, 1919, with a case of "Vincent's Angina" (AKA trench mouth, which is a progressive painful infection with ulceration, swelling and sloughing off of dead tissue from the mouth and throat due to the spread of infection from the gums) and discharged the same day. He was transferred to Section "B" Army Reserve upon demobilization on December 2, 1919. Hughes was discharged in the rank of Sergeant on April 16, 1920 and for his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914 Star with 5th AUG.-22nd NOV. 1914 (Mons) clasp, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His ties with the Imperial Force were severed as he elected to reside permanently outside the United Kingdom. There is some conjecture that he briefly served as a policeman in England after the war. However, what is known is that he came to Canada after the First World War and joined the Ontario Provincial Police. Hughes claims to have met and corresponded with many British, American Canadian Statesman, Diplomats and professional people throughout his career, including Governor General of Canada Viscount Julian Byng of Vimy, HRH Prince Philip and HRH the Duke of Windsor. He also claimed to have been in contact with Madame Alexandrina Marsden, a professional nurse who was in charge of important medical institutions in France and Belgium during both World Wars. She knew Florence Nightingale while serving during the First World War. Marsden was arrested by the Germans in the Second World War and charged with assisting Allied Airmen in escaping back to England. She was tried and placed before a firing squad, where she held up her hand and said "Remember Edith Cavell, because you made a terrible mistake in shooting her before the firing squad." She escaped the death penalty and was released, and as Hughes noted, she undoubtedly belonged to the French Maquis. In 1922, Highes began a policing career with the Ontario Provincial Police, beginning on May 17th, as he was employed as a Provincial Constable at District Number 5 in Belleville, issued Badge Number 15 on June 22nd and designated Grade C, earning him a salary of $1,600 per year. Two months later, on August 22nd, he was promoted one grade, to Grade B, and had his salary upped to $1,700 per year. He was transferred on December 13, 1922, as a Provincial Constable and made Temporary Commander of District Number 9 in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), followed six weeks later by a promotion to District Inspector on January 23, 1923. His stay in Port Arthur ended after two months, as he took command of District Number 4 in Toronto for the next twenty-three months, on February 15th. On December 10, 1924, District Number 6 Headquarters moved from Ottawa to Cornwall on December 10, 1924. Hughes was selected to be Officer in Charge at Cornwall, beginning on January 19, 1925. By the end of the year, Hughes' services were "dispensed with" by the OPP, on December 4, 1925. He was credited with having served five years as a District Inspector. He didn't rest on his laurels, as he opened his own Brokerage Business in Windsor in 1926, involved in Gas and Oil shares, which lasted for the next six years. In 1932, he gave up the Brokerage Business to become Canadian Sales Manager for the International Accounts Society of Chicago for the next five years, before returning to the Brokerage Business in 1937. Almost three years passed before Hughes attempted to enlist for Second World War service in 1939 but was rejected due to his age. The following year, he attempted to enlist again. This time, he was successful, as he signed on as a Private with the 48th Highlanders (B.101668) at No. 2 Military District in Toronto, on September 9, 1940. He lied about his age, giving his year of birth as two years later, making himself eligible for service. His experience and talents were immediately recognized, as was his ability to read and write English and French, as he was placed in the rank of Acting Sergeant and employed as an Instructor at No. 21 Militia Training Centre in Long Branch. Hughes was injured while playing horseshoes in the rear of the Sergeant's Mess, on August 5, 1941. One of the shoes had struck the peg and rebounded, striking Hughes and causing a laceration on his left shin bone. The following Summer, he received injuries from a dog attack on July 15, 1942. As an N.C.O. in charge of a draft proceeding to Camp Borden, they were marching from Newmarket Camp to the Railway Depot, with Hughes walking behind the column at the time, when a dog jumped out of the way of a passing truck and came into "violent contact" with his legs. It threw him headlong into the pavement but Hughes, ever the steadfast soldier, proceeded to Camp Borden and received medical treatment there. He attended Course No. 415 "C" Wing A-25 Canadian Small Arms Training Centre, where he Qualified III on November 14, 1942. Hughes was a resident of Toronto when he signed his Canadian Active Service Force Attestation Paper on January 5, 1943 at No. 2 District Depot, enlisting with "C" Company, 24th Battery, Militia Training Centre, Canadian Active Force in Newmarket, giving his birth date as January 21, 1892 (not 1890), making his age 49 and not 51, which would have made him ineligible for service. He named his next-of-kin as his sister, Mrs. George (Annie) Thrupp, stating that he had previous military service from 1914 to 1918 with the Coldstream Guards (Imperial Guards Division), that he was a Widower and that his trade was that of Investigator. Hughes was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant, then confirmed in the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class (Acting Company Sergeant-Major) on February 10, 1943, and became a Senior NCO Instructor at Newmarket. He was described as an "efficient instructor and good at administrative work. He is satisfied with his job, is energetic, conscientious and likely to continue to be useful in his present capacity." It was noted in his Personnel Selection Record, dated September 20, 1943, that Hughes had "a very good attitude to service and, although he enjoys his present work, he feels he is still overseas material. His learning ability is above average. A very good type of W.O." He was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal on January 12, 1944 and later, the War Medal 1939-1945, for his Second World War service. He was transferred to Canadian Infantry Corps (Rifle) Home War Establishment on December 14, 1944. While at No. 23 Canadian Infantry Corps Training Camp at Newmarket, he suffered an injury on January 20, 1945. The path he was walking on was very slippery and snow had fallen for about an hour previously, which made walking dangerous. He slipped on the ice at 10:45 hours, walking between the Sergeant's Mess and Projection Room, as his feet slipped out from under him, Hughes injuring the lower extremities of his back and the area between his shoulders. Five months later, on June 13, 1945, he volunteered for service in the Pacific theatre but was turned down for service because of his age or pulhems (overall physical being) on the 18th. He was transferred to No. 14 Infantry Training Battalion in Brampton on March 30, 1946, then transferred to No. 2 District Depot in Toronto on April 16th. Hughes had been an Infantry Instructor for thirty months, having taken courses in Drill, Musketry, Physical Training, Bomb, Bayonet Fighting and served in the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd Class for thirty-nine months, with service in Canada amounting to sixty-nine months. Company Sergeant-Major (Warrant Officer 2nd Class) Hughes was discharged upon demobilization from the Canadian Army on May 30, 1946, to return to civilian life. Upon his discharge, it was noted that Hughes was "a fine looking well built veteran of two wars who, through his long service, has lost contact with former business connections and consequently does not intend to consider resuming his brokerage business. It is felt that this man would be a splendid prospect for the civil service in such positions as guard in a penitentiary or prison guard, etc., where his military experience, husky build and sense of responsibility would prove invaluable. His Army and police experience fit him to accept work as a policeman in a small town where age requirements are not as exacting as in the larger forces. He was also advised to contact the Legion of Frontiersmen for such work as doorman or information clerk." He re-married, taking Alice Boyce Hughes (nee McLean) for his wife and had one stepdaughter, Mrs. Jack (Anne) McDougal. He was living in Collingwood, Ontario in 1946 and joined the Security Staff at the Collingwood Shipyards, retiring in 1960. He was an active member of the Collingwood Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion for the last twenty-five years of his life, from 1947 to 1972. Hughes died at the General and Marine Hospital in Collingwood, on September 28, 1972, at the age of 82, the funeral services held at the Cole and Lantree Funeral Home in Collingwood. He is buried in Westmount Baptist Cemetery in Collingwood, Plot F-16. (C:4)   
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