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Proud Australian

By Philip_H
The commemorations on Saturday 25th April 2015 (Anzac Day) brought to mind this Commonwealth war grave situated in the English churchyard of St Jamesí church, Sutton (a former village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, but now a suburb of the city of Kingston upon Hull).

Flight Lieutenant Paterson Clarence Hughes, DFC, was a distinguished Australian 'Battle of Britain' ace, killed in action on 7th September 1940. Pat was credited with 14 downed enemy aircraft, plus other shared planes, making him the highest scoring non-British fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain. One fact that came to light, a great deal later, was that Pat is also credited with shooting down a very well-known German airman, none other than Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, the famous "One That Got Away". This was the German Luftwaffe prisoner who escaped from British POW camps several times, only to be recaptured every time. After an escapade in which he very nearly stole a Spitfire to fly home in, and along with other notorious German escapees, von Werra was shipped off to Canada, where he finally made a successful escape from a moving train at night into the snow, and thence to cross the St Lawrence River to freedom in the United States, just a few months before the US entered the war. He was repatriated by the US to Germany to continue his military service, only to lose his life in Russia on the Eastern Front.

The marble headstone of P C Hughes, in common practice with all war graves, doesn't mention Pat's Australian nationality, just that he was a pilot with the RAF, which is partly true, as he was on secondment to the RAF. Pat was noted within his squadron for defiantly keeping and wearing his darker-blue RAAF uniform, and no doubt he would have returned to the RAAF had he survived the war.

P C Hughes

Tags: General East yorkshire Raf Australian Pilot Ace Sutton Battle of britain Anzac day Raaf Flight Lieutenant Paterson Clarence Hughes Paterson Clarence Hughes P C Hughes Commonwealth war grave

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barbarahirst 11 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2015 5:53PM
I am so saddened by the loss of life then
being an Aussie it was always talked about

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9 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2015 5:59PM
Thought evoking.

Regards Nathan
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2081 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2015 6:24PM
We've recently been looking at the Great War via Australian memoirs and history. Gives whole new perspective...
Jasper87 Plus
9 2.3k 157 England
27 Apr 2015 6:50PM
Interesting and engaging, Philip.

taggart Plus
15 47 13 United States
27 Apr 2015 7:29PM
Great text and image to go with it!

nearly stole a spite--- glad he did not!
xwang 10 56 8
27 Apr 2015 9:02PM
Thank you for the information and sharing the image, Philip.
JawDborn 7 1.2k 1 England
27 Apr 2015 9:53PM
Many thanks for the informative commentary Phil, reminding us of the braveness of those who died for us.

Especially interesting for me as I used to live a few miles from Sutton when it was a village.

Nikonuser1 Plus
7 159 16 United Kingdom
27 Apr 2015 9:58PM
A very imformative write up and image PhilipGrinGrin

ColleenA Plus
7 420 6 Australia
27 Apr 2015 11:34PM
Thanks for sharing many young men died in the war...Such a sad loss of lives in all Countries. I have just experienced my forst Anzac Day in Australia, even more poignant that it was the 100th anniversary.
PranavMishra 7 52 17 India
28 Apr 2015 12:26AM
great commemoration..
From the thumbnail, I almost thought it was about Phil Hughes, the cricketer..
28 Apr 2015 9:11AM
Thanks for sharing this moving memorial,
28 Apr 2015 5:42PM
A wonderful tribute
NeilWigan 9 17 16 England
1 May 2015 12:36PM
Well reported ,we owe a lot to all these people.

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