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WWII D.S.C. & LLOYD'S MEDAL FOR BRAVERY GROUP OF 5 MEDALS TO CHIEF ENGR. A.H. HUGHES, S.S. "EMPIRE TIDE" PQ-17 (K.I.A.)

*** RESERVED *** The renowned WWII 'PQ-17' D.S.C. and Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea group of five awarded to Chief Engineer Officer A. H. Hughes aboard S.S. Empire Tide and later Killed In Action aboard S.S. Nebraska. Consisting of: Distinguished Service Cross, G.VI.R., with reverse with hallmarks for London 1942 and officially dated '1942', engraved 'Chief Engr. A. H. Hughes, July 1942' in case of issue; 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; War Medal 1939-45; Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea to Chief Engineer Officer A. H. Hughes, M.V. "Empire Tide", 4th July 1942, in case of issue. Accompanied by WWII medal box of issue addressed to 'Mrs. E. V. Hughes, 123 Belvidere Rd., Wallasey, Cheshire', Minister of Transport condolence slip in the name of 'Albert Henry Hughes, D.S.C.'; Buckingham Palace investiture admittance card, dated 9 March 1943, together with congratulatory letters from the Managing Director of the Royal Mail Line, dated 7 January 1943, and the Mayor of Bootle, dated 18 January 1943. A letter to his wife, Evelyn, dated 15 December 1943, signed off 'Ever your loving hubby' and lamenting their enforced separation - 'Perhaps darling I will have the opportunity of having you with me for another voyage after the war is over … Bye, bye for now darling'. Two wartime photographs, one of the recipient in uniform. Buckingham Palace condolence message. Dedication of the Tower Hill Memorial, 11 November 1947, programme with 'Albert Hughes' in ink to front cover.
Description

D.S.C. Gazetted 22 Dec 1942: "For fortitude, seamanship and endurance in taking merchantmen to North Russia through heavy seas and in the face of relentless attacks by enemy aircraft."

Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea Lloyd's List & Shipping Gazetted 3 Feb 1944: "The vessel was attacked by enemy aircraft almost continuously for five days and nights while proceeding to a North Russian port. Two of the enemy were destroyed. After the attack ceased, enemy submarines were sighted and a nearby vessel was torpedoed. By taking evasive action and increasing speed to the utmost, Captain Hervey was able to get away from the enemy. Throughout the whole period of the attacks Chief Engineer Hughes and Second Engineer Griffiths remained in the engine-room, and by their efforts ensured the utmost possible speed under conditions of great stress. Although almost over come by lack of sleep they carried on with the pumping out of water ballast and the handling of the main engines until the vessel was refloated. It was mainly due to the inspiring leadership and courage of the Master and the magnificent conduct of the two engineer officers that the ship was brought to port. Chief Steward Carswell behaved with outstanding courage in the face of great danger when a gunner was wounded during the action with enemy aircraft. He made his way to the gun position and carried the gunner down to the ship's hospital. There he inserted sixteen stitches in the man's leg while the attack on the vessel proceeded. But for the prompt action and skill of Mr. Carswell, the wounded man might have lost his life."

Hughes subsequently returned to sea in the S.S. Nebraska and was similarly employed when she was torpedoed by the U-843 off Ascension Island on 8 April 1944. He was one of two men killed in the explosion caused by the opening torpedo strike, for the U-Boat commander made two further attacks before the Nebraska was sunk. The husband of Evelyn Victoria Hughes, Albert was 46 years old. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial. Read the full story of the PQ-17 convoy from the perspective of the S.S. "Empire Tide."

Read the story of S.S. Empire Tide's plight during the PQ-17 attack.

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