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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories & Memorabilia

Old School

Presentation of Rugby Trophy in memory of Able Seaman Aneurin Hughes, December 1969

Past student Able Seaman Aneurin Hughes, (ABGS 1962-65), lost his life in May 1969 in a helicopter accident off Cyprus while serving on H.M.S. Bulwark. It was the wish of his fellow seamen that his memory should be kept alive in the school by an appropriate gift. As Aneurin was a keen rugby player, it was decided to present the school with a trophy for rugby. The photograph shows the chaplain of H.M.S. Bulwark presenting the trophy to the headmaster Mr J. Warren. A plaque with the ship’s insignia was also presented to the school.
Aneurin joined the Navy on leaving school and trained on H.M.S. Ganges, then transferred to the Agincourt. He joined the Bulwark when the Agincourt was taken out of commission.

from Mr Graham Jones
 

Presentation
The chaplain of H.M.S. Bulwark, the Rev. R. H. Roberts, presents a rugby trophy on behalf of all the seamen from the ship to Headmaster
Mr. Jess Warren in memory of Able Seaman Aneurin Hughes. A plaque with the ship’s insignia was also presented to the school.
From left to right: Three representatives from H.M.S. Bulwark, Rev. R.H. Roberts (Chaplain of H.M.S. Bulwark),
Mrs Beryl Hughes, (Aneurin’s mother); Mr Jess Warren (Headmaster), County Councillor Archie P. Jones, (Chairman of Governors);
Arwyn Morgan Powell (vice-captain of the school’s 1st XV, and from Rhigos), and the captain of the school’s 1st XV, Gwynne Lloyd Jones (Cwmbach).
 

The Aberdare Leader featured a short article about this event, and reported as follows:

Seamen from H.M.S. Bulwark were among those present at Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School to pay their respects to 19-year-old Able Seaman Aneurin Brian Hughes, a past pupil of the school, who lost his life in May this year in a helicopter accident off Cyprus while serving on the Bulwark, and to present the school with a commemorative rugby trophy.

County Coun. A. P. Jones, Chairman of the Governors, opened the ceremony. He welcomed members of the family and representatives of H.M.S. Bulwark “to this moving occasion.”

“Aneurin had been a great credit to the school and his passing had been a great loss to us all,” he added.

On behalf of all the Governors he expressed sympathy with the family. He complimented H.M.S. Bulwark “for the practical and appropriate manner in which you are expressing your loss and your affection for Aneurin.” The Rev. R.H. Roberts, Chaplain, said that Aneurin had been a credit to his family and his school and had quickly established himself as a young man whom everyone respected.

“A great affection had developed between him and his mates and it was their wish that his memory should be kept alive in the school by an appropriate gift.

“As Aneurin was a keen rugby player it was decided to present the school with a trophy for rugby. I have the honour, with three representatives of the ship, to make this presentation on behalf of those who served and lived with Aneurin at the time of his death,” he added.

Headmaster Mr. Jess Warren, on accepting the cup and plaque, said it was “a moment of loss, a moment of pride, and a moment of gratitude.

“Aneurin’s death has been a loss to three families — his own parents and relatives, the school and the ship, of which he was a credit to all.

“We all had pride in him as a young man who placed before himself an ideal of service which he worked for throughout his all-too-short a life.

“His sacrifice places him among the company of those whose names appear on the Roll of Honour in our School Hall.”

He added that the gratitude of the school must be expressed to H.M.S. Bulwark for their gifts. Aneurin had been a keen rugby player and the school had a long and great rugby tradition.

The Cup will be competed for valiantly and will be much treasured by successive winners, while the plaque will remind the school as a whole, present and future, of Aneurin, who has linked the school and the ship together forever,” he added.

A short prayer by Chaplain Rev. R. H. Roberts concluded the ceremony.

Aneurin was one of three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hughes, of Garwellt, Penywaun.

He joined the Navy on leaving school and trained on H.M.S. Ganges, then transferred to the Agincourt. He joined the Bulwark when the Agincourt was taken out of commission.