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Sunday, 26 September 2010

My Two Elusive Hughs

The search continues for my two elusive Hughs, father and son. The first Hugh is Hugh Crawford, father of Harry, Tommy, Josey and Hugh. The other is son Hugh. Father Hugh, Granny Mack’s first husband, we are told went off to fight in the Boer War and never returned. Agnes received a letter saying Hugh was MIA—presumed dead. No record of his death has been found to date. Thanks to Jeanette and her genealogy links, we now have the attestation papers for Hugh when he joined the forces. The first time Hugh signed on was 22 December, 1887 when Hugh joined the Highland Light Infantry. Hugh was 18 years 6 months at the time. Hugh was discharged 43 days later on 2 February 1888. Hugh once again signed on to be a soldier on 8 March 1889 at the age of 19 years, 7 months. This time Hugh signed on with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Hugh signed on for “short service” which meant 5 years in the field followed by an additional 7 years in the reserves. Hugh was discharged from the KOSBies 258 days later on 22 November 1889. It is
unclear at this time whether he later was called up to serve in the Boer War or whether he chose to enlist with another platoon. More research continues.

Hugh (Jr) left Scotland and headed for Canada. He arrived on January 26, 1920 at the age of 25. He lists himself as being single, although we know he left his wife, Kate and their two children Daniel and Mary at home, Daniel being only a year old at the time. Hugh states on his immigration papers, in St John New Brunswick, that he is destined to his employer, the Ridge Coal Company in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He further states that it is his intention to settle in Canada. His time in Canada requires more research. We know that Hugh eventually made his way to California where he managed a barbershop and dry cleaning business. We also know he died a lonely man after poisoning himself with cleaning fluid. Hugh had a second wife, Janet, in California. She assumed his surname but it is unknown whether the two formally married.

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