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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:57 pm 
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23rd March, 2015 is the 69th Anniversary of the death of Private Joseph Hughes who served with the Royal Army Service Corps.
A Gorbals resident, only nineteen years old, Private Joseph Hughes was stationed in 1946 at Lymun Barracks in Hong Kong where he was involved in clearing the aftermath of the war including land mines. He was driving a 3 ton vehicle carrying ammunition and explosives into the magazine area at the Barracks. As the vehicle was entering the storage area, it started to smoulder and caught fire.
Knowing full well that his truck could explode at any moment, Joseph did everything in his power to put out the fire, firstly by trying to remove the burning camouflage netting, then by using fire extinguishers. Unfortunately the truck blew up and two days later Joseph died of his injuries.
Joseph was posthumously awarded the George Cross for Gallantry and is remembered by those in his regiment and the Hong Kong holiday village which is now situated where Lymun barracks used to be. Here in Glasgow and the Gorbals area in particular, few have heard of Joseph and his heroism.
A plaque containing a replica of the George Cross medal awarded to Joseph Hughes and a brief summary of his bravery (including photograph) is now hanging inside the entrance (to the right) of the St. Francis Centre, 405 Cumberland Street in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. It is fitting that this should be in the area where Joseph was born and will be a place that people can pay their respects to a brave young soldier who gave his life for so many others. This was made possible by the efforts to have him remembered by Joseph's cousin Irene Finn and with the help of Glasgow City Councillor James Mutter (HUTCHESONTOWN WARD 66) and Mr George Donnachie of the RASC/RCT Association.

The following poem was written by Elsa Beattie in memory of a brave young soldier.

JOSEPH HUGHES - GEORGE CROSS
(FOR A HERO WAS HE)

Joseph Hughes gave his life
For his Service Corps ‘Brothers’
His the ultimate price
To save so many others.

Just a lad from the Gorbals
How proud we should be
Of that brave young soldier
For a hero was he.

His fear and his pain
We can only surmise
How he must have suffered
In his sacrifice.

With esteem his name spoken
As it always will be
By his comrades-in-arms
Of the R.A.S.C.

In death then young Joseph
His actions rewarded
For his gallantry
A George Cross awarded.

His body lies cold
Far away, in the earth
But let’s bring his soul home
To the place of his birth.

Each act of remembrance
Brings Joseph back home
To the land of his fathers
His spirit will come.

So let’s always remember
With a thought or a prayer
Joseph Hughes from the Gorbals
And his courage so rare.


© ELSA J BEATTIE"


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