Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 18, 1891
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinRobert James Hughey (father), Kamloops, British Columbia
Trade / CallingDraftsman and surveyor
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number522741 and 522791
Service RecordLink to Service Record
ForceRoyal Air Force
BranchSoldier Biographies
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentAugust 30, 1915
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 4, 1964
Age at Death73
Buried AtVictory Memorial Park Cemetery, Surrey, BC

Hughey, George Milton

Flight Second Lieutenant George Milton Hughey enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in August 1915 and two months later he was sent overseas. In October 1917 he was accepted into the Royal Naval Air Service and he trained and served as a pilot. He returned to Canada in April 1919.

George was the oldest son of Robert James Hughey and Emily Mullin of Kamloops, British Columbia. Robert was born in Peterborough, Ontario and his wife was from Quebec. They were married in 1887 in Ottawa and within a few years they had moved to Rat Portage, Ontario, where Robert found work in a sawmill. George was born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) on 18 March 1891. The family spent a few years in Manitoba, where Robert farmed, and two daughters were born there, Gertrude in 1900 and Cosette in 1901. From there they moved to British Columbia and the youngest son, Lester Robert, was born in Kamloops around 1909. When the 1911 census was taken they were living in the community of Fruitlands, which is now part of Kamloops. About a year later George started working as a clerk and draftsman for the provincial government. Around that same time he also joined a militia unit, the 31st British Columbia Horse.

George enlisted in Vernon, BC on 30 August 1915, at age 24. He joined ‘B’ Section of the No. 1 Field Ambulance Depot, Canadian Army Medical Corps. Just two months later he was on his way overseas with the 4th Reinforcing Draft, sailing from St. John, New Brunswick on 21 November and landing at Plymouth on 2 December. At the end of the month he was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training School and on 1 January 1916 he was promoted to Corporal. In March he had tonsillitis and he was admitted to West Cliff (Westcliffe) Eye and Ear Hospital, where he had a tonsillectomy. When he returned to service in May he was transferred to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot and from January to October 1917 he was with the 5th Divisional Signal Company.

On 29 October 1917 George was discharged from the army and the following day he was accepted as a probationary flight officer in the Royal Naval Air Service. During his training and service as a pilot he used the name George Malcolm Hughey. He was in Greenwich, England until mid-December 1917 then in Vendome, France until mid-March 1918. From there he was posted to the training station at Cranwell, Lincolnshire where he earned his pilot certification. He flew several different aircraft including the Sopwith Camel. The Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918 and three days later George was given a commission as Second Lieutenant. On 1 May he was sent to the Manston War School but he was there only briefly as he went on leave to Canada. He arrived in New York on 16 May on the SS Melita, with his destination listed as Ottawa. He may have trained with RAF (Canada) during the summer. He arrived back in the UK on the SS Carmania on 3 August, sailing from New York to Liverpool with his address c/o RAF London. A week later he was posted to the SE Area No. 5 Group as a Sopwith Camel Pilot.

George served in England and France from August 1918 to March 1919, most of that time in the SE Area and with No. 42 Training Depot Station at Hounslow. In August he spent about a week in No. 30 General Hospital in Calais, France for an unspecified illness. He was also assigned to ground duties several times for health reasons. He sailed for Canada on the SS Megantic in early April 1919, arriving in Halifax on 9 April. Four days later he was transferred to the RAF unemployed list and he resigned his commission as his service was ended.

When the 1921 census was taken George was working as a truck driver and living at home in Kamloops with his parents and three siblings. Not long after that he became an insurance adjuster and he lived in Los Angeles, California from about 1923 to 1929. After that he spent about ten years in Vancouver working for Blane, Fullerton and White, an insurance company. George was married in Vancouver on 30 April 1932 to Grace Lewis, a clothing designer. Grace was from Los Angeles but she was born in Kansas, the daughter of William Lewis and Mary McGuire. It was her first marriage but George was recorded as being divorced. They lived in Los Angeles for at least two years, from 1939 to 1941, and George was a real estate dealer when the 1940 US census was taken. The marriage ended sometime in the early 1940s and he moved to Bellingham, Washington. When he completed his US WW2 draft registration card he was living in Bellingham and working for Frank Allyn Inc, insurance adjusters.

By the early 1950s George was remarried and living back in Vancouver with his wife, Mary Ross. He passed away in Shaughnessy Veterans Hospital on 4 December 1964, at age 73. He is buried at Victory Memorial Park in Surrey.

By Becky Johnson


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