Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1940 & 49

William Hughes (1857 - 1942)

 Alderman William Hughes JP served on Salford Council for a record 50 years and was elected Mayor in 1919. He was an Undertaker and Coach Proprietor by profession and a strong member of Enys Street Primitive Methodist Church.


He was born on 22nd May 1857 in Ipstones, near Cheadle, Staffordshire, the son of Thomas Hughes (born 1827 in Staffordshire) who was a Labourer in an Iron Mine, and Eliza (nee Mills) Hughes (born 1828 in Staffordshire). At the age of nine, William began work on a farm, but moved to Manchester aged 15 where he worked as an errand boy. He then was employed at Victoria Station, before working as a Labourer for Salford Council in about 1879. The 1881 census shows he was a Commercial Traveller and in 1891 he had become an Undertaker.


In 1882 William married Sarah Ledward in Salford by Registrar. She was born in 1852 in Tarporley, Cheshire, the daughter of Jane Ledward of Tarporley.


William first became a Councillor in 1891 when he was elected for St Thomas's Ward as a "Liberal Working- man's Candidates". When that ward was divided he became the member for Charlestown Ward. In 1908 he was appointed Alderman and a Justice of the Peace and in 1919 he was elected Mayor of Salford. On Saturday 27th March 1919 he proudly unveiled the War Memorial at Weaste Cemetery. The inscription read "Erected to the memory of the men who, having laid down their lives in defence of the Empire, were interred in this cemetery. Their names shall liveth for evermore".


During the 50 years that William Hughes was a Councillor he sat on most of the Committees of Council. He was a member of the Cleansing Committee for all of his 50 years, Deputy Chairman of the Watch Ctee (1909-20) and then Chairman (1920-37) and at the time of his death he was a member of Baths, Cleansing, Local Pensions, Parliamentary, Rating and Watch Committees. Just a month before he died, the Council had unanimously agreed to confer on him, the Freedom of the Borough.


William and his wife Sarah lived on Whit Lane for many years. He was a member of Enys Street Methodist Church for 60 years and was a church Superintendent for over 40 years. He was prominent in social and philanthropic work and was a Distributor for both the Booth Charities and the Armitage Charity. He was well respected and remembered for organising a Soup Kitchen at Pendleton Town Hall for coal miners during their 17 week strike in 1893. In 1932, William and Sarah celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, but only seven months later in November 1932, Sarah died, aged 70 at their new residence 32 Delamere Ave, Irlams o' th' Height, after several months of failing health. She was buried in the Hughes family grave A4/DISS/568 at Weaste Cemetery. William continued his Council work until his death on Sunday 4th January 1942, aged 84 years and after a Service at Enys Street Chapel, was re-united with Sarah at Weaste Cemetery.