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Private Thomas Hughes V.C.
Somme, Guillemont, Thomas Hughes, Carrickmacross, Machine Gun position, Victoria Cross
On the 3rd of September 1916, the village of Guillemont was captured after a number of attacks that were part of the Somme offensive. Two Irish Victoria Crosses were won during this battle, one went to Private Thomas Hughes of 6th Connaught Rangers, a native of Corravoo, Donaghmoyne, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan and the other to John Vincent Holland, a native of Athy, Co Kildare. Although wounded in the initial attack on Guillemont, the thirty-one-year-old Hughes returned to his unit after being treated by a medical orderly. Later that afternoon he single-handedly captured an enemy machine gun position, killing the two gunners and capturing the remainder of the gun crew in spite of having been again wounded twice. Hughes survived his wounds and the remainder of the war, and died in Carrickmacross on 8 January 1942. His VC was gazetted on 26 October 1916. While still using crutches, he was decorated by George V in Hyde Park on 2 June 1917. His cross was purchased by the Connaught Rangers Association in 1959 and presented by them to the Sandhurst Military Museum. It is now in the National Army Museum in London.