Steven Hughes

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Bill Bentley
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Steven Hughes

Post by Bill Bentley » Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 am

Captain, Dr. Steven J. Hughes passed away yesterday,

most of you will never have heard of him. Steve was once the RMO of 2 Para and prepared us medics for what was to come during the Falklands war of 1982. He attended our injured throughout our training and during our long voyage South on the MV Norland. He was amongst the first to wade through the ice cold waters and struggle up the beech and then up Sussex Mountain, from where we did our best to fight off the aircraft attacking our ships in San Carlos Water.

Our entire RAP equipment got LOST, but he had prepared us for this eventuality and we had (just) enough supplies in our rucksacks to accept the mission 'Attack and take Goose Green' Steve divided us into two groups, each to be as close to the front line as possible, supporting the spearhead. Steve was up front all of the way, notably attending our fallen Colonel H. Jones who was awarded a posthumous VC. If memory serves we lost 22 men and treated 39 of our own wounded and many more enemy wounded.

Whist resting up at Bluff Cove two of our ships, full of Welsh Guardsmen, were bombed. Steve led a group of men into the icy waters and saved countless wounded warriors.

It was his 25th birthday on the night that we attacked Port Stanley. In his rush to be amongst the first there, to help anticipated injured civilians, he led us into a minefield but the frozen ground prevented the mines from exploding. Steve was a lucky lad !

Yesterday Steve's luck ran out: rest in peace old friend.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by john kerwin » Mon May 07, 2018 8:16 am

Thanks for the info Bill.
A very brave man, R.I.P. HERO.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by 27 » Mon May 07, 2018 12:14 pm

Bill.

He sounded like a person anyone would be proud to have served with.

R.I.P. Steven.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by PINKY » Mon May 07, 2018 10:28 pm

RIP Sir, a true hero.

Pinky

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Arnie » Wed May 09, 2018 4:54 pm

Hi Bill, did your habit of carrying a penknife pre-date Steve, or was that some of his advice? Sounds like everybody, but particularly Steve deserved a higher medal than an MM. For the bits I know of your activities in the Falklands War, I reckon you definitely deserved more than an MM. Great man may he R.I.P.

:( :( :( :(
Arnie

Bill Bentley
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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Bill Bentley » Wed May 09, 2018 8:54 pm

Thanks lads,

it's nice to know that fellow warriors, which ever unit they served in, get recognized and remembered by their own kind.

Arnie,
I've always been a knife nut, long before I met Steve. As you know, exceptional times draw exception people to the front. They are not always the big mouthed hard cases like me, but often the most unlikely who do the most extra ordinary things. Steve got an MiD, which seemed like a bad joke to me, as there was a certain major, who's performance was simply not up to scratch, who received a MC. The medals award system is not all about merit, there were a great many who earned recognition but received nothing. It's as much a question of luck as anything else. The lads know who did the business and who did not and that counts for more than any medal. Steve ordered me to be Godfather to all of his children, now that is true recognition.

Thanks again !

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by bodge » Mon May 14, 2018 5:42 pm

Mr. Bentley Sir
On your voyage on the Norland to the Falklands did you meet the gay steward Roy Gibson ( Wendy) ? He is well known here I Hull. He has just turned up again and says he will appear at the Paras reunion in November at Aldershot. Bodge

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Bill Bentley » Tue May 15, 2018 9:22 am

Hi Bodge,

on the Norland Wendy was also very well known, though I hasten to add that I personally can't remember actually meeting he, she, it. Typically, I was too deeply involved with my work to go to 'parties'. And my still being 'old fashioned' I can laugh at them and their antics but think that sexuality should be behind closed doors and not exhibited. Nevertheless, the crew on the Norland were in as much danger as the rest of us and faced their 'moment of truth' as well as any Para. They were a credit to their nation, who can ask for more ?

Talking about Hull, the son of an old comrade of mine comes from there. Karl Bushby has been walking around the world for almost 20 years. He always picks up where he last stopped and so it is the longest continuous walk ever undertaken. From the outset he has never used any form of transport. This means that if a ferry crosses a river he swims across next to it. Crossing from the USA to Russia he had to swim from floating ice block to floating ice block across the Bering Strait, something that very few have ever done. There are quite a few video's on you tube showing just how unbelievably tough his journey is.

Try this for size:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgh8Ec43XT8

.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by bodge » Sat May 19, 2018 1:26 pm

Hi Bill,
Wein Hull are aware of Karl the local media have reported on him on occasions like when hr had visa problems whith the Russians re the Bearing sea.
I have just been looking at photos of you paras on the Norland 2 para a & c squads a sports day etc.
Bodge.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Bill Bentley » Sun May 20, 2018 2:37 pm

Good on you Bodge,

I doubt that you will see me on many photo's, I'm a bit camera shy to say the least. From my total of some 17 years service I only have a hand full of pictures.

Karl Bushby has also written a book about the start of his journey, it's called 'Giant Steps', from Punta Arenas to Russia. At one stage he stayed with us for a bit of R&R, so I have a signed copy. As a lasting memory I got him to help me build my carport ... didn't want him getting lazy.

Steve Hughes will be buried next Thursday at a private family service. My suggestion of having his two sons and four Paras carrying the coffin was happily accepted by the family. The man who took over from our fallen C.O., H. Jones VC, and led us to victory, now retired, Colonel Chris Keeble DSO and a, then young soldier, who was shot through the head and saved by Steve Hughes, will be joining another exceptional Paratrooper and myself in this role. Our former Padre will be conducting the service.

You can't get a better send off than that.

There will also be a public 'Service of thanksgiving' at the Falkland Chapel in September.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by 27 » Wed May 23, 2018 9:40 am

Bill.

Excellent suggestion for the funeral.


27,
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C.T.I.D. :-) :-) :-) ⓜⓒⓕⓒ I WAS THERE WHEN WE WERE SHIT ¿? ¿? ¿?

Bill Bentley
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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Bill Bentley » Thu May 31, 2018 6:17 pm

Steve’s parents, both alive and well but shattered at his passing, wanted a quiet, private family funeral. As Godfather to all of Steve’s children it was my mission to ensure that the battalion was represented on the day, so it was agreed that, along with both of his sons, Jamie and David, we would provide the pall bearers. Colonel Chris Keeble and our former RSM, Mal Simpson both requested to be on the team and I was not going to be just watching ! I only needed one more man. My wish was for Steven Tuffen who had been shot through the head at Goose Green and had amazingly survived because of Dr. Steve Hughes wise intervention. I also requested permission that a reserve man be allowed to attend and as Glyn Grace had volunteered we had our team.

It had been wished to bury Steve in Aldershot, alongside those fallen warriors who we had not reached in time to save back in ’82, so that surviving battalion members could visit him in years to come, but this was not allowed ! So we had to find another cemetery. Delay after delay and by the time we elected to have Steve buried near by the family in Birmingham, Both Mal and Glyn were overseas and unable to attend on the day. At very short notice two other stalwarts of the battalion and devoted friends of Steve Hughes, Wang and Johnno stepped up to the line, as so often before when duty called.

Perhaps the icing on the cake was that our wartime padre, David Cooper was there to take the service. David, with his usual humour gave us two tips: don’t drop the coffin and don’t fall in after it ! Easier said than done I can tell you. Young David Hughes, at just 17 carrying his father’s coffin was paired up against a 76 year old Cris Keeble. Wang and Johnno, both large old men, were in the middle, where the coffin is widest, and the isle in the church was very narrow. Jamie and I appropriately took Steve’s feet and led the team. As I had anticipated Steve Tuffen, with his considerable disabilities, was, of course, unable to carry the coffin but provided a very fitting Guard of Honour. It would be unfair not to mention one other former soldier, a dear friend of Steve’s, who was in attendance in spit of his own ill health and, in his day, was ‚No Mean Soldier‘, Peter McAleese.

It rained heavily until mid day, then the sun came out for a couple of hours allowing us to remain dry for the whole service, thereafter it poured down for three days, thank you God ! After the service we all retired to Steve’s old watering hole and mixed with the family, singing the praises of our now parted friend, as if that were necessary, Steve was loved by all and shall be missed but NOT FORGOTTEN !

RiP Doc !!!
.

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by PINKY » Thu May 31, 2018 7:06 pm

Very fitting, thanks for the update.
Pinky

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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by 27 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Nice one Bill.
YOU SIGN PHIL JONES :-( :-( :-( WE SIGN KUN AGUERO :-) :-) :-)
C.T.I.D. :-) :-) :-) ⓜⓒⓕⓒ I WAS THERE WHEN WE WERE SHIT ¿? ¿? ¿?

Arnie
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Re: Steven Hughes

Post by Arnie » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:45 am

Thanks Bill for that report on what must have been a moving occasion. May Steve Rest In Peace.

Arnie :( :( :( :(

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