Geoffrey Hughes-Games’ grandfather Joshua Jones was a clergyman and the headmaster of King William’s College on the Isle of Man: he changed his name to Hughes-Games in 1880. His son Joshua Hughes Wynn Hughes Jones married Ellen Rose Bower in 1886 in the Wirral. He too was ordained and ministered in Trowbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, Plymouth, Birmingham, Birling in Kent and Birkenhead. He died in 1904 the same year as his father and was buried in Cheltenham. They had two daughters Dorothy, and Gladys, and three sons Joshua, William and Geoffrey the youngest, who was born in Birmingham and baptised two days later on 27 December 1890 by his father in his parish church of St Matthias, Birmingham.
In 1913 Geoffrey matriculated and came to St John’s Hall, Durham University, where he studied for a B.A. with Hebrew as an extra subject. At Easter 1914 he satisfied the examiners in the first year examinations in Mathematical and Physical Sciences. In March 1914 at the Union he supported a motion (which was defeated) in favour of compulsory military training at the university. As the son of an Honorary Chaplain to the Forces, with two brothers who like him went on to serve in the coming war, it is no surprise that he was in the university’s Officers’ Training Corps. The Corps trained at Richmond in spring 1914 and was in camp in July. He was reported to be a private in the 6th Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment in the Durham University Journal of November 1914.
His elder brother Joshua, a Cambridge graduate, was commissioned as a second lieutenant, became a captain in the 18th Durham Light Infantry, and was awarded the Military Cross. He served in Egypt and France, was wounded on 1 October 1916 but eventually died of pneumonia in 1918 after a long period in hospital. His second brother, William, went to Canada in 1911 where he worked for a cotton spinning business, and so enlisted in the Canadian forces on the outbreak of war. He was discharged from service with tuberculosis which was said to have developed after he had been gassed: he died in British Colombia in 1958. Since his father died of chest and heart trouble and Joshua of pneumonia it may have been a family affliction.
In August 1915 Geoffrey Hughes-Games enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the Gloucester Regiment as private 2820. This battalion fought in the battles of the Somme as part of 144 Brigade of the 48th South Midland Division. In February 1916 the 36th Machine Gun Corps was formed and Geoffrey transferred to this new unit with the number 21075. Few records have survived, but the M.G.C. was said to have been formed of skilled officers and to have starved the infantry of the fittest and most intelligent recruits to man their machine guns.
Private Geoffrey Hughes-Games died on 21 March 1918 near St Quentin on the first day of an expected German attack, and is commemorated on the Pozières memorial. He is also commemorated in Cheltenham cemetery, where his parents are buried, and a St John College plaque in the church of St Mary the Less in the South Bailey, Durham City, as well as on the Isle of Man roll of honour as the nephew of C.T.W. Hughes Games the Vicar General.