Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 12, 1890
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Sarah Hughes (mother), 222 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingCompositor
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2650829
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion85th Battery
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Field Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at Enlistment222 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMay 1, 1918
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 27, 1962
Age at Death72
Buried AtWaverley (Pineview) Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg

Hughes, John Llewellyn

Gunner John Llewellyn Hughes, usually known as Jack, was born on 12 January 1890 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father, Hugh Hughes, was born in Liverpool, England and his mother, Sarah Thompson, was from Wales. They had three other children: Hugh Gladstone, Winnifred Jane and Frederick. Not long after Jack was born his parents moved to Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. His father worked as a railway clerk and the youngest son Frederick was born there in August 1891. Sadly, Jack’s father died in Rat Portage in January 1900, when he was ten years old. When the census was taken the following year Sarah and the four children were still living in Rat Portage. The oldest son, Hugh, was working as a clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

As a teenager Jack worked for the local newspaper, the Kenora Miner and News. He also started playing on local hockey teams and he went on to have a long career as a player, referee and coach. By 1911 his mother had moved back to Winnipeg and he was living with her and working as a printer. He played hockey for the Winnipeg Hockey Club, serving as a spare when they won the Allan Cup in 1913. The following season he was taken on by the Winnipeg Victorias and his change of teams was mentioned in the Miner and News.

The war started in August 1914, when Jack was 24. Conscription was introduced in Canada in 1917 and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by November. Jack was called up on 1 May 1918 and assigned to the 76th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. On 28 May his unit left by train for Petawawa, Ontario, where they would spend the summer training. There were a number of Kenora lads on the train, including Jack, and when they stopped at the Kenora station on their way east they had a warm send-off from the crowd that had gathered there.

While he was in Petawawa Jack volunteered to go to Siberia with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia). On 9 September 1918 he was transferred to the 85th Battery. He was still in Petawawa on 30 September but back in Winnipeg on 4 October. A few days later he left the city with his unit, heading to Victoria, British Columbia where the CEFS was being assembled. He was feeling ill when he left Winnipeg and he was taken off the train in Moose Jaw on 9 October and admitted to the military hospital there, suffering from bronchitis. While he was in the hospital both his mother and younger brother Frederick died in Winnipeg of influenza.

Jack returned to Winnipeg on 17 October to attend the family funerals and tragically his sister Winnifred died of the same illness a week later. His surviving brother, Hugh Gladstone, had been conscripted in the spring of 1918 and he was still in Winnipeg at the time. After recovering his health Jack was sent to the west coast but not to Siberia. By early March 1919 he was back in Winnipeg and he was discharged on demobilization at the end of the month.

Jack was married in Winnipeg on 12 September 1919. His wife, Sarah Elsie Webb, was born in Saskatchewan in 1889, the daughter of Arthur and Louise May Matilda Webb. Her father was from England and her mother was British but born in India. Sarah’s father died in 1899 when she was ten. She had three younger brothers, Arthur Edmund and twins Ralph William and Matthew, and all of them served in the war. Matthew was killed at Passchendaele in October 1917 and he’s commemorated on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg.

Around 1920 Jack started working for the T. Eaton Company and he was with them for 35 years. He continued to play on local hockey teams, including the Selkirks in the mid-1920s. Around that time he also started serving as a referee and he was chosen to be the chairman of the board of referees for Manitoba. He went on to coach the Elmwood Millionaires, the Winnipegs and other teams. In 1932, when he was the coach of the Winnipegs, his team won the gold medal for hockey at the Olympics, which were in Lake Placid that year

Jack retired from Eatons in 1955 and passed away at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg on 27 June 1962, at age 72. His wife died in 1978 and they are both buried at Waverley (Pineview) Memorial Gardens.

Jack is an Honoured Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

By Becky Johnson

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