Mr and Mrs Benjamin Hough, 125, Gordon Street, Preston, and formerly of Cambridge Road, Bamber Bridge, have the distinction of having five sons and one son-in-law in the army. Pte. R Hough of the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers was wounded at Ypres and gassed on Hill 60, but has recovered from both experiences. Pte. W. Hough is in the 32nd Service Company of the Army Ordnance Corps. Pte. R. Hough is in the 3rd L.N.L. Regt. Farrier Sergt. Hough is in the 11th Lancashire Batt. R.F.A. and the youngest son is also in the L.N.L. Regt. The son-in-law, Pte. R . Alstead is in the 3rd L.N.L. Regt. The eldest son, Pte. R. Hough, was called up as a reservist but the other brothers enlisted after the outbreak of war.
The article and photographs above appeared in the Preston Guardian in July 1915. The photos are of Benjamin Hough, five of his sons and a son-in-law.
Benjamin Hough was born in Longton in 1855. He was a general labourer. He married Elizabeth Darlington (b. 1854 in Preston) on 28 December 1875 at St John’s in Preston and they had 11 children: Emily (b. 1876), Mary Ann (b. 1878), Thomas (b. 1880), William (b. 1881), Robert (b. 1884), Margaret (b. 1886), Edward (b. 1887), Agnes (b. 1890), Joseph (b. 1891), James (b. 1893) and finally Florence (b. 1895). The family moved to the School Lane area of Bamber Bridge in the mid-1880s and in 1891 were living at Rimmer Cottage (somewhere near Back Lane which I believe is now Brindle Road). By 1901 they had moved to 1 Cambridge Street, Bamber Bridge. Elizabeth died in 1905 and Benjamin remarried the following year. His second wife was Grace Massey and she had three children from a previous marriage. In 1911, Benjamin and Grace and two of her children had moved to Preston and were living at 20 Ashmoor Street. Some of his children remained in Bamber Bridge, for example, Edward, Joseph and Florence lived with their sister Emily (now married to Robert Alstead) at 14 Cambridge Street, Bamber Bridge. Three other siblings, William, Agnes and James, lived with their sister Mary (now married to Henry Harrison) at 5 Cambridge Street.
Thomas Hough was the oldest of the sons. Born in 1880, he was 34 when war broke and appears not to have served.
William Hough was born in 1881 and he served as 07039 Pte. W. Hough, Army Ordnance Corps. Before the war, he was a labourer in an iron works. The article says he served with 32nd Company AOC but I have no information about where the company was located during the war. He married in 1919 and died in 1937.
8856 PTE. R. HOUGH. LANCS.FUS.
Robert Hough was born in Longton in the summer of 1884 and baptised at Preston, Christ Church on 27 July. In 1910, he married Minnie Clarkson (b. 1887 in Preston) and in 1911 they lived at 5 Appleby Street in Preston. Robert was a general labourer and Minnie was a cotton weaver. The Preston Guardian article tells us he was a reservist called up at the start of the war. He joined the Lancashire Fusiliers and was assigned service number 8856 and posted to 2nd Battalion. He landed in France on 11 September 1914. The Battalion came under orders of 12th Brigade in 4th Division. The Division was in the thick of it from the outset, fighting at Le Cateau, then the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne and the Battle of Armentières in 1914. In 1915, as the article says, 2Bn was engaged at Hill 60, south east of Ypres. This was a strategic promontory which had been captured by the Germans in November 1914. In April and May there was further fighting and the British re-took the hill on 17 April 1915, but the Germans attacked again, using poison gas, on 5 May and the hill was back in German hands, where it remained until the Battle of Messines in 1917.
What appears then to have happened was that, after recovering from injury at Ypres, Robert was transferred to 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, and was sent to join the Battalion which was in Gallipoli. On 28 July 1915, he embarked along with 1367 officers and men on the Royal Edward, destined for the Mediterranean. They arrived in Alexandria on 10 August. The ship then set sail for Moudros on the island of Lemnos, a staging point for the Dardanelles. On the morning of 13 August, the Royal Edward was spotted by a German submarine, UB-14, off the island of Kandelioussa. The submarine launched two torpedoes at the troop ship from about a mile away and hit the ship in the stern. She sank in six minutes. The final casualty list contained the names of 13 officers and 851 troops. Among them was Robert Hough, he was 31 years old.
Service Number: 8856
Date of Death: 13/08/1915
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers, 1Bn
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 59 to 73 or 218 to 219.
Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL
Additional Information: Husband of Minne Hough.
300364 SPR. E. HOUGH. R.E.
Edward Hough was born in the final quarter of 1887, around the time his family was moving to the School Lane area of Bamber Bridge. In 1911, he was living with Robert and Emily Alstead (Emily was his sister) at 14 Cambridge Road, Bamber Bridge. He was a labourer in an iron works. The article tells us that he enlisted at the outbreak of war and joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (the photo shows him wearing the LNLR cap badge). He was initially assigned service number 20064 and probably posted to 3rd Battalion (reserves). He was then transferred to 1Bn Cheshire Regiment, with a new service number 29158, before finally ending up in the Royal Engineers, with yet another service number, 300364. In the Royal Engineers, Edward was posted to 24th Base Park Company. These were Lines of Communication troops, responsible for maintenance and repair of infrastructure and equipment needed in the war effort. Given Edward’s pre-war employment in an iron works, this makes sense. I don’t know at what point he was transferred from Cheshire Regiment to RE. 1Bn Cheshires came under orders of 5th Division and this Division fought in the Battle of Arras in 1917 and again in the latter stages of the Third Battle of Ypres. After Passchendaele, 5th Division was sent to Italy, so it may have been now that Edward was transferred. Unfortunately there is no War Diary for 24th Base Park Coy for this stage of the war, all we know is that Edward died on 30 October 1918 and is buried at Blargies. The cemetery there served a number of hospitals. Edward may have been a victim of shelling or bombing, or he may have died of the ‘flu. He was 31 years old.
Service Number: 300364
Date of Death: 30/10/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers, 24th Base Park Coy
Cemetery/memorial reference: III. D. 5.
Cemetery: BLARGIES COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
Additional Information: Son of Benjamin Hough, of 125 Gordon Street, Preston.
Joseph Hough was born in the final quarter of 1891 in Bamber Bridge. In 1911, he was living with siblings Edward and Florence and their sister Emily Alstead at 14 Cambridge Road, Bamber Bridge. He was apprenticed to a blacksmith – which explains his military career. The newspaper article says he was in 11th Lancashire Battery of the Royal Field Artillery and he was a Farrier Sergeant. 11th Battery became part of 276 Brigade and Joseph went with them to France on 30 September 1915. 276Bde were the artillery support for 55th Division. Joseph served with them throughout the war. He survived. I haven’t found a marriage record, but he died in 1966.
The “youngest son” referred to in the Preston Guardian article was James Hough. He was born on 10 August 1893 in Bamber Bridge and baptised at St Saviour’s on 8 October. In 1911, James was living with siblings William and Agnes and their sister Mary Harrison, at 5 Cambridge Road. James was a cotton weaver. The article tells us he enlisted shortly after the start of the war and he joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He enlisted on 6 September 1914 and was assigned service number 14170 and posted to 8th Battalion. The Battalion was in training throughout 1915 until being sent to France on 25 September 1915. 8Bn came under orders of 7th Brigade in 25th Division. James was wounded on 17 December 1915 (at the time the Bn was in the trenches near Armentières) and evacuated back to England on Christmas Eve. After recovering in England he went back to France on 24 August 1916 and then served in a variety of different units, including 230th Coy R.E. and also No. 9 P.o.W. Coy. 8Bn was disbanded on 26 February 1918 and soldiers were transferred to other battalions. After this he had various other postings, including to 2/4Bn LNLR and 350th (E&M) Coy, Royal Engineers. James was demobilised on 1 June 1919. I have found no record that he married and I am not sure of his date of death.