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Frances Clegg
John & Frances Hughes in Turkey

John Hughes – always called “Jack” – was born in Kidderminster in 1885. His father, a carpet weaver and dyer, moved the family north to Sowerby Bridge, in Yorkshire, to work in the carpet trade, and where Jack subsequently qualified as a chemist and dyer.

He married Frances March in 1914, and after an investigatory trip by Jack with his brother Will, in 1920 the couple moved to Smyrna, where Jack had obtained a job as a dyer in the Oriental Carpet Manufacturers Company. By 1921 they had two children. The youngest, my mother Winifred, was born on New Year’s Day 1921, following the exuberant New Year’s Eve party so well described by Giles Milton.

image courtesy of Frances Cleggimage courtesy of Frances Clegg
The wife of John Hughes, Frances Elizabeth Hughes (grandmother of Frances Clegg) Pasaporta (Smyrna dockside) 1920, Bornova 1922

In 1922, when it seemed unsafe to remain in Bournabat, Frances and her two children left Smyrna on a cargo ship carrying coal. Jack and his brother Will (who had been staying with them) remained until September 14th, the day after Smyrna was set on fire. With the help of a Turk, Haida, they managed to get aboard a ship carrying refugees. Jack and Will made themselves useful on board by assisting with caring for these desperate survivors.

image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Record from your hearty and devoted Haidar - (later pencil annotation: Friend who helped the Hughes family leave Smyrna when the Turks arrived 1922).
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Mrs Dr Sadik - (currently unknown person).
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Mrs Refik, Izmir - (currently unknown person).

Once back in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Jack resumed work in the carpet manufacturing business, but then in 1924 he was invited by James Baker (on behalf of Mr De Portu) to rejoin the OCM in Smyrna. Jack and Frances were thrilled to return, as they had loved the life out there. And so they remained in Bournabat until 1934, when they reluctantly decided that they had better return to sort out their son Charles’s educational/career needs. Jack went on to found his own carpet company in West Vale, Yorkshire, which in 1947 he relocated to Workington in Cumberland (The Vale Carpet Company).

Jack, Frances and the children went back and forth between Smyrna (Izmir) and England many times, for holidays and in order to visit relatives. Jack and Frances returned to Izmir for the final time in 1950, when they were warmly welcomed back by former colleagues and friends. Despite having been advised to fly, they followed their usual train and sea route via Marseilles, Italy, Greece, etc., and stayed for three weeks at Edmund Giraud’s house at Bournabat.

image courtesy of Frances Clegg
No caption: Extreme left: George Bradbury (deduced from another captioned photographed), Centre-back, my grandfather John Hughes and grandmother on the extreme right.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: The Sykes family and friends at the Varipati House, Bornova, March 5th 1922. - John Hughes: centre back, Frances Hughes: 3rd lady from the right.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: 3rd house, Freda La Fontaine, Mr Sykes, Frances Hughes.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Outside the Fred Whittall House, Mr Fred Whittall (left), Mr Butler (Mayor of Scarboro), Madame Hüs, Madame Massey (a visitor from Derby), Madame Fred Whittall (with white collar & cuffs).

Jack had taken up the hobby of photography, and my mother could remember tilting trays of developing solution in his dark room in Bournabat. He had several photographs enlarged and framed, which he gave to me in the 1970s. I had always known about one large photograph album which my mother had, and would show to my sister and me when we were young. However, it is only since the death of my mother and father (in 2012 and 2013 respectively) that I have had the chance to discover the complete collection of albums and photographs which had been stored in suitcases under a bed for sixty years! These photos, together with stored items of correspondence, itineraries, passports etc., have enabled me to start to put together a more coherent picture of my grandparents’ life in Izmir.

image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: John and Frances Hughes on left, Mr & Mrs Pickering.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
John and Frances Hughes with their daughter Winifred, around 1924-25 in their garden in Bornova after their return in 1924.

I can’t say how indebted I am to Giles Milton, as his wonderful book Paradise Lost enabled me to put more pieces into the jigsaw puzzle. Furthermore, he has been extremely helpful in putting me in touch with many members of the Levantine families – several are very well known to me by surname – and so starting off a new trail of discovery and documentation. Thanks to Craig Encer’s suggestion, I am now reading Antony Wynn’s Three Camels to Smyrna, and feel yet again that more of the jigsaw is beginning to fall into place. And what’s more, I have some mementos of the OCM – a copy of a letter written to my grandfather on the ornately headed notepaper – and also a rather large Turkish carpet with my mother’s initials woven into it!

image courtesy of Frances Clegg

Written by Frances Clegg (aged 67), granddaughter of John Hughes, November 9th 2014, daughter of Winifred Haigh (nee Hughes).

image courtesy of Frances Clegg
No caption - probably the backstreets of old Bornova.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
No caption - earthquake damage to the chimney of the dying factory (?) in Smyrna
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Picnic above Bournabat. Winifred as pannier passanger, 1921.’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘a Turk, Father (Jack Hughes), Boy de Cramer Feb 1922.’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Mustapha, Blackburn, Christian.’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Letter from James Baker, one of the partners in the Oriental Carpet Manufacturers Company to John Hughes offering a year contract to work for them in Smyrna, November 1924, as the city and the company slowly recovered from the war and accompanying fire that destroyed the stock and the building of the firm on the water-front.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Spring 1926, John Hughes, right back row; Don Allen, left back; George Bradbury, seated front; middle row: Will, Boy & Arthur’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Mademoiselle Zipsy and her chrsanthenums, Dec 1927 + Frances E. Hughes’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Mrs Pengelly’ [Pengelley]
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Winifred convalescent. Dec 1927.’
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘2nd house’.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘2nd house to the right, near child, Bornova’.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
No caption, looks like a group trip for one of the organised picnics.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
No caption, Bornova street.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘3rd house, prev nursing home, l. dining room - kitchen, iron gates at front, back guest room (?)’.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘3rd house’.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
One of a series of annual rent contracts (600 turkish liras per year) of the house lived in by the Hughes family, this one from 1931. The owners of the property are shown as Miss Kathleen Murphy representing James Belhomme and Mr J Hughes is shown as the manager of the Şark (Turkish translation of Oriental) Carpet Factory.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
John Hughes and for his wife police-pass for car travel to the nearby city of Manisa from Bornova issued on 5-9-1929 for a month (the same document on the reverse shows use of it again with new permission again later that year and twice in 1930) showing foreigners required official authorisation before inter-city travel was possible during this period. The document also notes his valid residency number.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: last picnic with the Girauds, 1933.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: ‘Denise Baladour [Baladur] and self sailing home’.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
1933 address list (done for Winifred?) when the Hughes family left Bornova.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
1939 letter from Sheila Whittall to Winifred Hughes. [Sheila Whittall was the 11th child of Frederick Edwin Whittall & Adelaide Helen La Fontaine. She married Patrick Graeme Tweedie CBE. She was born in 1904 and died in 1992.]

Selection of photos from John and Frances Hughes visit to Izmir, 1950.

image courtesy of Frances Clegg
During their return as visitors April 1950: Ruth Giraud and Frances.
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Mother, Eddie, Thelma (Mr and Mrs Wilkinson - 1950).
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
image courtesy of Frances Clegg
Caption: Mr Giraud [Edmund] and the Padre [Rev Bird] taking coffee with the Turks.

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