• Cyril Emerson Hughes

Army / Flying Corps
    Unknown
    Unknown
  • Captain

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Stories and comments
    • A short overview of Cyril's life history
    • Posted by petermccormick22, Sunday, 14 February 2016

    Cyril was my Great-Uncle. He was the eldest brother of my father's mother. She was Rita Alice McCormick (nee Hughes). Cyril was born in 1889 in Launceston, Tasmania. His early life was spent at Deloraine, Tasmania. Cyril had three other brothers who served in WW1. They were Eric Emerson Hughes, Ronald Emerson Hughes and Alan Emerson Hughes. These three all returned to Australia after WW1. Cyril joined the Imperial War Graves Commission in 1919 as a Colonel and was Director of Works at Gallipoli. He built the cemeteries and monuments there after WW1. He was a qualified Civil Engineer/Surveyor when he joined the Light Horse in 1915. He was also fluent in at least three middle eastern languages which helped with directing the Labour Force. Cyril was in regular correspondence with the Australian War Museum and CW Bean during the construction work and sent home artifacts. One letter he wrote referred to an elderly chap from Australia who had arrived looking for his son. This letter was the inspiration for the film 'The Water Diviner' and the character Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Hilton. Cyril resigned from the War Graves Commission in 1937. He was Australian Trade Commissioner to Egypt in 1938. From 1939 to 1945 Cyril served in the Middle East in the British Army as Colonel in the Engineers. One story from that period is how Cyril escaped from Crete in a Tiger Moth as the German paratroopers were coming in. After WW2, Cyril lived in Egypt with his wife Phyllis until the Egyptian Army Coup in 1952 which brought Nasser and some fellow army officers to power. As a result of this Coup,Cyril spent some time in prison until he was repatriated to England and joined up with Phyllis. Cyril died in London, England in 1958. Thanks Peter McCormick BE (UTAS)..