Arthur Hough

Arthur was born on the 9th February 1896 in Sutton and was the fourth child of Arthur and Elizabeth Hough (formerly Roberts). Arthur senior was aged 35 years old and was working as a labourer at a bone factory.

Arthur’s older brother, Frank, was aged 6 years old whilst his two sisters, Beatrice and Florence, were 3 years and 1 year old. All the children had been born in Sutton, as was their father. Their mother had been born in Conway in North Wales.

In 1901 Arthur’s father was working as a crane operator (“stationary engine driver”) and the family were living by Frodsham Bridge; also living with them was Arthur’s grandmother, Sarah Hough, by then an 81 year old widow.

By 1911 Arthur and his father were both working as labourers, Frank was a butcher, Beatrice was an assistant in the post office and Florence was a domestic servant. Their grandmother, Sarah, had died.

Arthur enlisted on the 8th June 1916 in Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman (service number J53877). He left his job as a cable maker and was posted to Pembroke 1 in Chatham for training. Pembroke 1 was a naval shore establishment which had built in 1902 which now houses the Universities of Medway.

 On the 8th August 1916 he joined HMS Repulse which was a new battlecruiser just finishing construction on the Clyde. He served on board the ship until the 10th December 1918, by which time he had been promoted to an able-bodied seaman. The Repulse was commissioned on the 18th August 1916 and underwent sea trials and extra modifications. Arthur joined the fleet in July 1917 serving in home waters.  During September and October the ship was selected for trials with a flying platform for aircraft and then re-joined the fleet.

On the 15th November 1917 Arthur would have taken part in the only combat which involved HMS Repulse in the War; the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight near the main German naval base at Wilhelmshaven. The Repulse was ordered to aid a British force of 10 cruisers and 10 destroyers which was trying to destroy a German force of 14 minesweepers which was supported by 2 battleships, 4 cruisers and 8 destroyers. The Repulse scored a single hit, on the cruiser SMS Konigsberg that started a major fire. The battle was indecisive with one British cruiser damaged whilst the Germans lost one minesweeper and had the Konigsberg damaged.

On 12 December 1917, Repulse was damaged in a collision with the battlecruiser HMAS  Australia.  The ship was present at the surrender of the High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow on 21 November 1918.

On the 11th December 1918, Albert was back at Pembroke 1 in Chathamas Repulse began a major refit at Portsmouth on 17 December 1918.

Arthur was at Pembroke 1 until his demobilisation on the 14th February 1919. Luckily Arthur was not long in Chatham as there was a severe outbreak of Spanish Flu at the barracks between mid 1918 and 1921 in which 242 sailors died,

 Arthur would have been issued with the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

After the War, Arthur stayed in the south of England living in 53 Fore Street in Edmonton, Middlesex and going back to his trade as a cable maker. On the 20th December 1926, when he was 30, he married the 20 year old Dorothy Edith Lilian Yates. Dorothy was born on the 20th August 1906 and was the fourth of five children of Vincent and Mary Yates of 50 Alston Road, Edmonton. Her father was the despatch foreman at a gas and stove manufacturing company.

In 1939 Arthur was living at 42 York Road in Edmonton and working as a fitters’s labourer at the gas works. Dorothy was living in West View Cottages in Nantwich, Cheshire doing “unpaid domestic duties”.

Arthur retired as a gas fitter. He died on the 9th February 1977 in the North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton aged 81 years old and Dorothy was still living at York Road when she died on the 11th June 1994 in St. Anne’s Hospital, Tottenham.