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Creston Valley Goes to War

James McHugh

McHugh Service

Service record of James McHugh

McHugh Service

One of several lettes in McHugh's service file relating to the circumstances of his death

James McHugh was a butcher from Creston, who enlisted with the Forestry Corps on 18 February 1917. He was one of only three men in the 230th battalion who died overseas.

McHugh had some trouble with military discipline - absent without leave, drunkenness, etc - charges similar to those that appear in the records of many other servicemen. The most serious charge was for destruction of public property in December 1917. It earned him 28 days of "Field Punishment No. 1" - labour duties and being attached to a fixed object, such as a post or a wheel, for two hours a day.

After that, there is little in his service record besides a brief note that he was sent to a school of cookery - and then, suddenly, the note that he had died due to an abscess of the brain.

An investigation into his death revealed that he had fallen and injured himself, and while undergoing treatment for that injury, the doctors found that he had a long-standing and untreatable tumour. The investigation concluded that the tumour might have been a factor in his fall - one has to wonder if it had been a factor in his earlier disciplinary issues as well.