Full-time - All Stars v Nantwich Town FC captain Caspar Hughes (centre) with trophy and team (1)

Wybunbury All Stars and Nantwich Town staged a fundraising game in memory of a World War 2 hero, writes Jonathan White.

The seven-a-side match saw Nantwich Town beating Wybunbury All Stars 9-1, with Sam Day scoring a consolation goal for Wybunbury with the final kick of the game.

The game took place to raise money for a memorial for World War 2 Pilot Officer Richard Pryce Hughes RCAF, to be positioned next to his grave in Wybunbury.

Richard Pryce Hughes, from Shavington, was with 10th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Pilot Officer Richard Pryce Hughes RCAF

Pilot Officer Richard Pryce Hughes

On April 14 1942, he was captain of a Halifax Mk II bomber returning from operations over Ruhr in Germany.

Having spent so long searching for his target, the Halifax ran out of fuel on the return flight over 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.

Pilot Officer Hughes, aged 33 at the time, then tried to make an emergency landing.

He lost control due to lack of power and spiralled to the ground from 7,000ft.

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.

Memorial to Pilot Officer Hughes RCAF near Liss in Hampshire (1)

Memorial to Pilot Officer Hughes near Liss in Hampshire

Pilot Officer Hughes was married at the Truro registration district in Cornwall in 1932 to Jane Elizabeth Gillian Hughes nee James, of Grampound, Cornwall.

He was the son of Pryce Edward and Ethel Bessie Hughes of Gresty Lodge, Gresty, Crewe. His parents were merchant farmers.

His 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 he 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.”

Football match 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.

Pre-match - Wybunbury All Stars and Nantwich Town FC (1)

Wybunbury All Stars and Nantwich Town

Nantwich Town capatin Caspar Hughes pushes fowards (1)

Nantwich Town player Callum Saunders shot is blocked by Wybunbury (1)

Pre-match - Wybunbury All Stars (1)

Event organiser Russell Ellison-Jones with the match trophy (1)

Event organiser Russell Ellison-Jones with the match trophy

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