Wybunbury All Stars played Nantwich Town FC in a fundraising game on the afternoon of Sunday 4th July 2021 at Wybunbury Playing Fields, off Main Road (B5071) in Wybunbury, writes Jonathan White
The 7-a-side match was 3 x 20 minutes in duration with Nantwich Town beating Wybunbury All Stars 9-1, with Sam Day scoring a consolation goal for Wybunbury with the final kick of the game. Match referee was Des Evans. Event organiser Russell Ellison-Jones presented a trophy to the winning team. Entry was by donation with one hundred people in attendance. There was also a prize raffle. The draw for the raffle was at The Red Lion pub after the match.
The game took place to raise money for a memorial for World War 2 hero, Pilot Officer Richard Pryce Hughes RCAF, to be positioned adjacent to his grave in Wybunbury.
Richard Pryce Hughes, from Shavington, near Crewe, was a Pilot Officer with 10th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On the night of 14th April 1942, Pilot Officer Hughes RCAF, was Captain of a Halifax Mk II bomber, registration No 9492, call sign Zulu Alpha- Gulf. With similar aircraft from 10 Squadron RAF based at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire, the Squadron was returning from operations over Ruhr in Germany.
Having spent an unusually long time searching for his target the Halifax ran out of fuel on the return flight over Liss/Liss Forest in Hampshire. While the aircraft had sufficient height, the Captain immediately ordered the crew of six to bail out, which they did successfully; after which Pilot Officer Hughes tried to make an emergency landing. While doing so he lost control (lack of power) and at 04.55hrs on the 15th Halifax call sign Zulu Alpha-Gulf spiralled to the ground from 7,000ft avoiding Liss/Liss Forest. Pilot Officer Hughes’ body was returned to Wybunbury and was buried four days after the crash on 18th April 1942 at St Chad’s Church (Wrinehill Road churchyard) with full military honours. His cousin George, who flew Mosquitoes with the RAF was killed in the same year, and is buried in Jutland, Denmark.
Pilot Officer Richard Pryce Hughes was 33 when he died. He was married at the Truro registration district in Cornwall in 1932 to Jane Elizabeth Gillian Hughes nee James, of Grampound, Cornwall. Pilot Officer Hughes was the son of Pryce Edward and Ethel Bessie Hughes of Gresty Lodge, Gresty, Crewe, Cheshire. His parents were merchant farmers. The grave digger’s diary at St Chad has recorded that Pilot Officer Hughes’ parents were interred in the same grave as their son. Richard’s gravestone includes the inscription: ‘GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.’
There is a memorial near Liss close to the spot where Pilot Officer Hughes RCAF attempted to make an emergency landing.
A representative from the Richard Pryce Hughes memorial committee said: “From 1942, an unknown hero has rested in peace in Wybunbury cemetery, his heroics largely unknown or properly commemorated. At last, some 79 years after his death, the true details of his bravery will finally be revealed, with a plaque unveiled in his honour. We will remember him.”