Robert Arthur Hughes



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  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1
  • Notes

  • The Call and Contribution of

    Dr Robert Arthur Hughes OBE, FRCS



     Edited by D Ben Rees


     Modern Welsh Publications Ltd


    North East India-Wales Trust

     First Edition:  June 2003


    Modern Welsh Publications Ltd


    North East India-Wales Trust

     Cover Design:  Siôn Morris

     Price:  £5.00





    Preface               Mrs Nancy Hughes

    Chapter 1 -         The Life and Work of Dr Arthur Hughes OBE,

    FRCS by Dr D Ben Rees

    Notes -                 

    Chapter 2 -         The Mission Understanding of Dr Arthur Hughes FRCS by D Andrew Jones

    Contributors -  


    Copyright © D Andrew Jones and D Ben Rees and Modern Welsh Publications Ltd / North East India-Wales Trust



    First published:  June 2003


    Published by Modern Welsh Publications Ltd, 32 Garth Drive, Liverpool, Merseyside, L18  6HW.

     All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchase.


    Printed and bound in Wales by Dinefwr Press Ltd, Rawlings Road, Llandybie, Carmarthenshire,SA18  3YD.

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    I am so indebted to my faithful minister, Revd Professor D Ben Rees for ensuring that the first two lectures in memory of my husband Arthur, see the light of day.  I gather that it was Dr Rees who suggested the idea of a Memorial Lecture at the first Missionary Committee of the Liverpool Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Wales after his death.  The first lecture was to take place at the Medical Institution in Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, with Dr Emyr Wyn Jones, a fellow student with Arthur at the University of Liverpool, invited to deliver the first lecture.  When he declined, due to ill health, the Missionary Committee asked me to suggest a name and that is how my minister gave a memorable introduction to the life and work of one his faithful elders, which, at last, sees the light of day.


    It was a delightful occasion.  So many of my late husband's colleagues from the University of Liverpool came as well as Welsh Presbyterians from all over Merseyside, and from Flintshire; and the event was chaired by Revd Harri Owen Jones, BA, then at Menai Bridge, who, also, was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Wales.


    In June 2001 the second Memorial Lecture was held, this time at Bethel Chapel in Heathfield Road, under the chairmanship of another dear friend of mine, the Revd C Eleri Edwards, who, herself, served for nearly twenty years as a missionary in Madagascar.  The lecture on the second occasion was delivered by the Revd Dafydd Andrew Jones, MA, who travelled up from Cardiff to be met by a sizeable congregation; and his visits to the old mission field in India has endeared him to so many of our friends in the Churches of Shillong and in the other towns and villages of Meghalaya. 


    I hope that this book will circulate to Shillong, which is every day in my heart and mind.  I remember H Mashel Rapthap as Senior Executive Secretary of the K J P Synod writing these words to us on 28 February 1991:


    Many of our people and members of the Church are eagerly waiting for your arrival and they will be very happy indeed to see and meet you again.


    That was our last visit to the town and the Church and the Hospital that means so much to both of us.  I feel, as does John, my son, and his family, that this book is a fitting tribute to one that did so much in the power of God and as a disciple of Jesus Christ.  It was Arthur who wrote these words on Christian compassion:


    True Christian compassion is absolutely unconditional.  Compassion is not to be shown to prove anything, not to be used to convince anyone, and not to be done to ease one's own mutual distress.


    Then, he added:


    A mission hospital doesn't exist so that patients of another religion may be persuaded to accept the Gospel because compassion is shown to them there.  It is never a means to an end, it is the end itself.  Compassion is the manner in which the Christian and the Church faces suffering.


    I have tried to face life without my late husband's physical presence in the philosophy and faith that he proclaimed in his life, in the pulpit, at his home, and in the meetings and assemblies of the Church.


    I acknowledge, also, the generosity of the North East India-Wales Trust which owes so much to the generosity of the family of Gwyn Phillips, the loyal brother of another extraordinary missionary, the Revd T B Phillips for sponsoring this volume.  I am grateful, also, for a grant towards the publishing cost by the Missionary Committee of the Liverpool Welsh Presbytery.


    I look forward to the visit of another friend of Arthur, the Revd Dr Elfed ap Nefydd Roberts, Wrexham, to deliver the third Memorial Lecture on 1 June 2003 at Bethel Chapel.


    In great gratitude


    Nancy Hughes



    4 January 2003


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    Chapter 1


    The Life and Work of Dr R Arthur Hughes, OBE, FRCS

    by D Ben Rees



    Robert Arthur Hughes was born in the market town of Oswestry, Shropshire on 3 December 1910.  He and his brother, John Harris Hughes, were twins, and both gave of their utmost  in their adult lives to the Presbyterian Church of Wales.  Their father was a Presbyterian Minister, who came from a Liverpool- Welsh family.  The Revd Howell Harris Hughes ministered at the Oswald Road Presbyterian Chapel in Oswestry.  He began his ministry in a Forward Movement chapel and the Revd D S Davies, Liverpool (who also served as a missionary) remembers the young people flocking in during the period that he ministered at Cardiff to hear him.  The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Man were the fundamentals of his theology.  It was after he left Oswestry for a Welsh-speaking chapel in Tabernacl, Bangor, that he became a well-known Minister through his pacifism and anti-war stance.  He became, with Dr J Puleston, George M Ll Davies, Peter Hughes Griffiths (London), D Francis Roberts, J Morgan Jones, Merthyr, Dr J H Howard, one of the leading Welsh Presbyterian pacifists.  It is of interest to me that of these seven men of conviction, four of them were connected sometime or other with the Liverpool Welsh.  Indeed, George M Ll Davies and Howell Harris Hughes were born and bred in Liverpool.

    His mother, Annie Myfanwy (née Davies), hailed from Garth, near Acrefair, in the Collen Valley.  She had received higher education and had served as a headmistress in the mining village of Rhosllanerchrugog, on the outskirts of Wrexham.  They moved as a family from the border area to the university city of Bangor, and both boys, Robert and John, received most of their elementary education at Garth School.  From Tabernacl Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Bangor, his father received a call to the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in Crosby Road South, Waterloo.  The twins received their education at Christchurch and at the Grammar School of Waterloo near Scaforth (1921-25), before moving to Siloh Presbyterian Church of Wales in Gloddaeth Avenue, Llandudno.  There, Robert and his twin brother Harris attended the well-known John Bright Grammar School.  He became greatly attached to Llandudno and he always enjoyed visiting the town in his adult life.

    From John Bright Grammar School he was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Liverpool, which he entered in 1928.  He proved himself to be one of the best students of his generation, and was awarded the Gold Medal in Surgery.

    At the University he was a member of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) and leader in the student study circles.  He also attended a number of SCM Conferences at Swanick and the Quadrennial Conferences at Liverpool and Edinburgh.  R A Hughes was asked to speak at the pre-terminal conference in Liverpool and at the Welsh SCM Summer Conference.  For four years he was the chairman of the Student Voluntary Movement Union in Liverpool which existed to unite all those who hoped to make missionary work their life service and to bring all members of the SCM to realise their missionary challenge.

    Like his father, pacifism was important to him and he admitted this in his application to be a missionary

    I have always regarded my work in the Christian pacifist movement as work for the spiritual good, both inside and outside the churches, because in discussion groups and open air meeting one sees that the ambiguity of the churches reaction to the question of war has made many doubt, both the sincerity of the churches and the relevance of Christianity in the modern world.[1]

    After he had qualified in 1933, he was appointed house surgeon to the Liverpool Welsh Presbyterian elder, Mr (later Professor) O Herbert Williams, and house physician to Dr (later Professor) Norman Capon at the Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool.  Dr R Arthur Hughes was then appointed the John Rankin Fellow in Human Anatomy at the University before spending two years at the David Lewis Northern Hospital as Surgical Tutor, Pathologist and Registrar.  After being accepted with tremendous joy by the Executive Committee of the Welsh Mission of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, he gained an added qualification in Tropical Medicine in the University of London (staying in Gower Street), as well as further training at the Radium Institute and the Mount Vernon Hospital.

    At the David Lewis Northern Hospital he met a young nursing sister, Nancy Wright, one of three children of William Clyde and Mary Elizabeth Wright, Claughton, Birkenhead.  Her nursing career began when she had completed her training at a secretarial college, and had arrived at the Isolation Hospital, Bidston, where she spent three years.  Then she went on the Northern Hospital, Liverpool, where she received general training.  She then moved to Oxford Street Maternity Hospital and later returned to the Northern, where she undertook responsibilities as a Sister.  There, she was to meet Dr R Arthur Hughes, then a Surgical Tutor, and they married at Palm Grove Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (where she was a member) by the bridegroom's father, the Revd Howell Harris Hughes, and the Minister of the local church, the Revd F Bainbridge.

    After two farewell services, one in Llandudno and the other in Liverpool, both sailed on 28 January 1939 from Birkenhead on the cargo boat City of Marseille for Calcutta.  Nancy Hughes suffered greatly for the first fortnight on board from seasickness, but eventually she overcame it, arriving at Calcutta, and then travelled from that teeming city to the more acceptable town of Shillong in Cymry India. 

    Shillong:  a Little England in India

    Shillong was designed originally by its founder, Colonel Henry Hopkinson, Commissioner of Assam and Agent to the Governor-General of India, to be a 'little England' for the British civil servants, entrepreneurs in Cymry India away from sweltering plains.  The cool, bracing breeze of Shillong was always acceptable to the Welsh missionaries as well as the English entrepreneurs in Assam.  To Indira Gandhi, Shillong, in the post-second war period, was one of the most attractive towns in the whole of India.  The pine trees and the luxuriant forests gave it an atmosphere all of its own, and she remarked on the pleasant situation of the township situated on the plateau of gentle hills, five thousand feet above the sea level.

    The summer months bring torrential rains to Shillong but the atmosphere clears quickly after a heavy downpour.  Shillong is cradled in the rain shadow of Shillong Peak, the tallest in Meghalaya, flanked by Mawpat Hill on the North, allowing a panoramic view of the never-to-be-forgotten Diengiei Hills.

    Shillong can claim numerous waterfalls.  It is well worth a trip to the Spread Eagle Falls, the Elephant Falls, Bishop Falls, Beadon Falls.  There are plenty of beautiful areas in which to relax, such as Ward's Lake and the Lady Hydari Park with its mini-zoological centre.  Today, near the State Central Library building is a statue of Indira Gandhi, who was so loved and respected as a politician, in particular as a champion of the tribal people.  The hub of Shillong is the market place known as Jewduh.  It is what Chandi Chowk is to Delhi.  The market place, Jewduh, is dominated by the Khasi women, clever, resilient and hardworking.  The Khasis that Dr R Arthur Hughes came to serve, speak a non-Khmer language which is spoken, also, by the people in Annam of Cambodia.  Their culture is old and rich and they follow a matrilineal system of society, unparalleled in the whole of India.  This was the town that became their home on St David's Day, 1939.

    Dr Hughes had come to assist the Liverpool-born surgeon, Dr H Gordon Roberts, who, single handed had brought into existence a Welsh Mission Hospital on the hill to the north west of the town.  It was an area known as Jaiaw, on the site where the Welsh missionary Ceredig Evans lived before the devastating earthquake of 1897.

    Dr H Gordon Roberts was a living dynamo.[2]  He planned the Hospital and then ensured that as the outbuildings went up in the 1920s, an engine room, a laundry house for the Indian nurses, other premises for the local doctors, dispensers, friends of poor patients, hospital orderlies, along with missionary doctors and nurses were built along with a segregation area for infectious diseases.  Kitchens were constructed to feed the nurses and the patients, and a new chapel was erected for the Jaiaw congregations.  Dr Gordon Roberts had one great worry in the mid 1930's when he began to contemplate his successor at the hospital.  His delight was evident when, in 1939, a young, highly-competent surgeon arrived in the person of Dr R Arthur Hughes.  Since its opening in 1922, the Welsh Mission Hospital of Shillong had gained an enviable reputation.  Dr Hughes built on this foundation, even enlarging it by his dedication and skill.  He took charge of all the general wards, while Dr Roberts continued with the administration.  When the latter retired in 1942, Dr Hughes became the Senior Medical Officer, Administrator and Finance Officer.

    The Second World War

    We must emphasise the uniqueness of this hospital in the early 1940s when Dr Hughes became the Senior Medical Officer.  In all the government hospitals of Assam at that time, 1942 onwards, there were fewer nurses employed in the Welsh Mission Hospital in Shillong.  There were fewer major surgical operations performed annually in all the civil hospitals of Assam, including the Berry White Medical School, than were performed at the Welsh Mission Hospital.

    As if that were not enough Dr Hughes was seconded for service as a liaison officer between the Indian Army, the Assam Government, the Civil Health Authorities, the British Army Forces and the Tea Industries' Medical Services.  This involved dealing with the recruited labour forces then working on the widening of the road from Kohima to Dimapur – the famous Burma Road – and the evacuation of civilian refugees.  When the Japanese bombed Juphal, Dr Hughes was involved in treating the wounded at the Dimapur Refugee Camp before being posted back to Shillong to serve as the surgeon to the military hospitals;  that is, the Indian Military Hospital, the British Military Hospital, as well as the Welsh Mission Hospital, a total of 1500 beds.  This continued from 1942 to 1945 when 2,851 officers and soldiers from all over the world, many fellow Welshmen from his own denomination, were treated by him over and above the usual clientele.[3]

    The Welsh Mission Hospital, under the care of Dr R Arthur Hughes, became one of the great hospitals of India, comparable with St Luke's Hospital in Hirampur, Bihar, with patients being received from all parts of India.  Among these patients were senior government civil servants, and tea planters or their wives from the plains of Assam and Cachar, as well as individuals from as far as Calcutta.  These patients constituted the main source of income for the support of the Khasia Hills Welsh Mission Hospital, and enabled him, and his staff, to provide the same high standards of surgery and nursing care for the very poor, some of whom would have travelled 200 miles on a round trip to seek physical relief.

    His weekly workload was tremendous.  Dr Hughes started the day with a religious service for the staff and himself at 7.40 am; and then it was a matter of visiting the wards before attending, after 1942, to administration and seeing those outpatients who needed urgent investigation.  This was done regularly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.  The surgical work was undertaken on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.30 am until 8.00 pm.  The clinics on Tuesday and Thursday would often continue until 10.30 pm.  In a typical response, Dr Hughes argued:

    It does sound ridiculous that we were involved in seeing outpatients until as late as that, but it would have been heartless to send them away to come back the following week when they had already walked through the jungle for some hours before getting a bus, perhaps, on the main road.

    Dr Hughes did not consistently have surgical colleagues throughout the years.  Dr Stanley Russel was the first colleague, from 1942-47, thus enabling Arthur and Nancy Hughes to take their first furlough after nearly seven years in Shillong.  Then came Dr Norman Tunnell, making it possible from them to take another break.  Afterwards, Dr Peter Shave came for a short period, as well as young medical missionaries for a few months.  But the fact remains that Dr Hughes did not have a medical missionary colleague brought up in the Presbyterian Church of Wales to assist him in Shillong during the whole of the thirty years, despite many appeals in the monthly magazines Y Cenhadwr and Glad Tidings.  Like Dr Gordon Roberts before him, he realised that training men and women from India was the most sensible solution and the only real solution to shortages of specialist staff.  As we know, this is what actually happened.

    Above all, Dr Arthur Hughes is remembered as the medical pioneer.[4]  His achievements are extraordinary.  He was the first surgeon to introduce lower segment Caesarean section before the days of antibiotics.  When his assistant, Dr Drinsing, whom he instructed in the technique before being placed in charge of the maternity ward, wrote an article for the Christian Medical Journal on their experience, in Shillong, it became clear that this was a first, not only in Assam, but in the whole of the India sub-continent.  Dr Hughes was the first to introduce vagus nerve resection in the treatment of Duodenal Ulcer in Assam;  he introduced the Oxford Ether Vaporiser into general anaesthesia in North East India and recognised Rickets in the infant population, in addition to recognising the protein calorie deficiency which he called 'Kwnashiorkor', developing the clear principles for its treatment.

    Dr R A Hughes in full flight, 1945-51

    The end of the Second World War did not change the style or the way of life of the missionary doctor.  His regular week meant 80 solid hours work, excluding emergencies, but at a cost, as he admitted in a letter to the Revd David Edwards at the office in Liverpool.  The cost entailed a certain 'reduction in one's expectation of life' and to be away for lengthy periods from his beloved wife Nancy.  He needed help in the administration of the hospital and the compound.

    He poured out his heart to the Revd David Edwards who had been a missionary himself;

    As things are, you may hope till kingdom come for financial statements about the hospital, I am not going to spend any more hours out of the twenty four doing accounts.[5]

    He had done such tasks throughout the war years but now Dr Hughes was getting very frustrated at the failure of the Central Office to fund him assistance in the hospital.  He was blunt in his threat to the Liverpool office:

    If you cannot find a thoroughly competent doctor at the very latest a year before my next furlough is due, I shall probably have to decide not to return.[6]

    He was not confident of help from the Khasi people themselves.  In  uncharacteristic  style he criticised those that he was serving so conscientiously:

    They [the Khasis] have little zeal, little passion for helping their own people, and I sometimes think even less desire to learn medicine or surgery.[7]

    Dr Hughes had undertaken a huge task in this period.  With the hospital as a base, he was beginning a new task of bringing medicine to the people of the villages of the Khasi Hills.  In 1945 he had been on the road in a big vehicle for a month, calling at the markets of Umsning, Nongpoh, Laitlyngkot, Lyngkyrdem, Dowki and Mawphlant, and not forgetting the market in Sylhet Road, Shillong.  He was sensitive to those who were calling for continual care.  Cherrapunji wanted Dr Hughes and his helpers to call.  It was not easy because the market at Cherra was held on the same day as the market in Lyngkyrdem.  But these visits were not just to do with medicine:   they were to do also with presenting the gospel news.  The evangelistic services went with a swing but he had to remind the Khasi preachers that they were not addressing an assembly of the converted and that a busy market place is not the time or place for a long winded sermon of three quarters of an hour in length.  He used the evenings to convey his feelings as he reviewed the campaigning.

    On these journeys Dr Hughes saw the need for wide ranging educational campaigning.  He felt that Khasia needed a revolutionary change in its whole way of life.  It was a big task.  The agricultural system needed modernising.  Their campaigning suffered from a lack even of simple technology.  He saw the need for a public address system to work effectively in the market places, but he was thrilled to be involved in this campaigning.  He took a particular interest in the Bhoi country.  In 1948 he was involved, with a senior Khasi pastor, the Revd Eglington Catphoh in the restructing of villages in the Bhoi Country.  The main reason for the decision to break up some of the old villages was the prevalence of diseases due to the unhealthy environment.  Dr Hughes had been called in order to help the secular and religious authorities to decide on the creation of three new villages after the destruction of a large number of the old infested villages.  They expected him to decide which were the healthiest sites in the Bhoi area for these newsettlements; and also to put into practise that which could be done to improve the state of health of the inhabitants of the fourth village.  Dr Hughes started off in a well-laden jeep at 8 am and would be driven down the road from Shillong for 19 miles to Umsning.  That journey took a person down 2000ft from a region of pine forest to one of evergreen jungle and rice field.  It poured torrential rain when they arrived in Umsning and they waited for the weather to improve before they set off on a walk along a narrow and muddy road to the first of the three villages.  Most of the way was along the bottom of a fairly deep valley, sometimes tight-roping along the mud ridges between the terraces of rice fields, sometimes climbing over the spires of the hills before descending into the valley or crossing the streams by bridges made of tree trunks, with a bamboo railings suspended from the branches of the trees above.  It was unbearably humid, and so different in every way from Shillong.  The birds and the foliage were so different and the leeches and mosquitoes were there in their thousands.

    The jeep was borrowed.  But in 1948 he organised the building of a new jeep.  A Ford chassis arrived on 11 January 1948 and soon he had a new jeep on the road.  Using this new vehicle, Dr Hughes could arrange weekly visits to Mawngap.  It was a means of bringing sick people into Shillong Hospital from the non-Christian community.  His whole aim was to extend God's Kingdom.  When he visited Mawphlang for his holiday he could not relax completely.  Life was too short.  There was so much to do.  He gave four lectures in Mawphlang:  two on the first week, and another two the following week using the Socratic method to instruct the inhabitants on health care.  It led him to be invited to a number of non-Christian homes.  He told me of how friendly these families were, and he came to the conclusion that what needed changing were not the people's food habits or hygiene but, rather, to impress on these kind-hearted folks the need for a completely new way of life.  The only possible way would be for them to become gospel orientated.  He spoke at Mawphlang emphasizing the need for a radical change in the whole agricultural system.  But he could not change it single-handed for already he had too much on his hands.

    He was the pastor for the whole missionary fraternity.  Dr Hughes was deeply concerned for the people.  He decided in the spring of 1948 to send Jane Beryl Edwards home because of her health.  She had gone out at the beginning of 1945 with Winnie Thomas and Mollie Parker and had had the opportunity of working in the Shillong Welsh Mission Hospital.  Beryl Edwards was given a great deal of responsibility, and she still remembers the atmosphere enriched by the prayers of Dr Hughes.[8]   The scholar missionary, Basil Jones, also became a patient of Dr Hughes.  He had frequent attacks of Tonsillitis and ended up with Diphtheria.  Dr R Arthur Hughes was concerned also with the situation of Thomas Edwin Pugh (1888-1951).  A native of Talgarth in Breconshire he had been ordained in 1929 and sailed out with his wife, Elizabeth Ellen Pugh (1883-1957),  and their daughter,  in January 1930 on his appointment as Headmaster of the Shillong High School.  T E Pugh returned to Cardiff in 1945.  He stayed in Cardiff for over two and a half years, drawing full salary and he also received a grant of £50 to help in the considerable expenses involved in the education of Enid who was dedicating her young life to missionary work.  The office in Liverpool was deeply concerned about the Revd T E Pugh.  They felt he should not return to Shillong.  David Edwards tried to persuade him to take a church or apply for a headship in  Wales.  But he stubbornly refused.  He longed for India and his pupils in Shillong.  The Revd Pugh sailed on 4 February 1948 for Calcutta and was given a warm welcome by his staff when to took up his responsibilities at Shillong High School and by his loyal friends, Arthur and Nancy Hughes.

    Dr Hughes had other worries to keep him occupied also.  He arranged in October 1946 with Messrs D A J Tallis and Company of Clydebank, in Strathclyde, Scotland, for the Hydro Extractor to be sent to the Shillong Hospital.  But due to a number of blunders, and it is difficult to pin down the real problem, it took Tallis over eighteen months to get the order processed, shipped and executed.  The shipment took place in May 1948 but the cost had gone up to £280, an increase of £120 on the original estimate.  Dr Hughes was encouraged to obtain the services of Dr Ian Patrick for twelve months in the summer of 1948, and he was also grateful to receive a cystoscope for the hospital.  For years he had borrowed an instrument from the military hospital, which was entirely unsatisfactory.  The Mawphlant area had a soft spot in the generous heart.  In the summer of 1948 he and the Revd Thomas John Griffiths (1916-1998) went on a special visit to the villages in the Mawphlang area.  Dr Hughes had healed T J Griffiths from a serious attack of malaria, and, as a sign of his gratitude, he accompanied the Schweitzer of Assam to the people who had suffered considerably from the epidemic -  an epidemic that had taken the lives of thirty seven individuals in the two months.  Dr Hughes examined every one of the sick and persuaded the authorities to spend some money to check the epidemic.  The following Sunday (this was the first Lord's Day in August) they both were invited back to the Presbyterian Church in Mawphlang where a group of men and women were committing their lives to Christ.  T J Griffiths administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and the devout doctor gave the address on the relationship that clean and healthy home had in relationship to the Christian faith.  Dr Hughes was flabbergasted that respectable, God fearing families could live in filth, and he emphasised with his godly authority that

    one cannot expect to see the imperatives of the Christian life appreciated where even the difference between cleanliness and filth is not understood.

    To him, as with Martin Luther, 'cleanliness was next to godliness'.  The post- war period was a time ripe for a real revolution in the Christian homes of Presbyterians in the Khasi hills, and he honestly believed that

    If we give them the weapons for healthy living we shall see an accession to the Christian Church within the next few years.

    Dr Arthur Hughes had a number of loyal supporters on Merseyside.  One of the most loyal of his supporters without any doubt, was E R Jones, a Liverpool Welsh builder and a Presbyterian elder, and father of Mrs Leah Clement-Evans, who had worked with Dr Hughes within Bethel Presbyterian Church of Wales, Heathfield Road, Liverpool 15.  'E R Jones "Briarley", Alexandra Drive, Liverpool' as he was known, expressed his willingness in this period to finance any special scheme associated with Dr Hughes.[9]   In August 1948 he offered to pay £400 for a Hillman motor car to carry out preventative work on diet and general health.  E R Jones guaranteed, in all, the sum of £1,000 which would mean that the experiment could be implemented for at least two and a half years.[10]  By 29 October E R Jones had sent a cheque for £250 to the Mission office in Falkner Street, Liverpool.[11]  A powerful tribute was paid to Dr Hughes in the autumn of 1948 by the author of the popular daily column in the Liverpool Daily Post, 'Wales Day by Day'.  It brought great joy to all his admirers in north, mid Wales and Merseyside.

    Dr Hughes also had his concern for the Hospital that was being built in Jowai.  At the beginning of autumn 1949 he had left Miss Morfydd Jones to go to Jowai to relieve Miss Marian Pritchard.[12]  He hoped to go himself in September or October 1949 to Jowai, to see the condition of the road and to inspect the work of clearing the site.[13]  He had hoped that there would have been radical improvements to the Shillong to Jowai road, but this was not so.  It was easier to travel during the dry weather, and although the road was bumpy, it would still be possible to drive the standard on it without undue damage to the vehicle.  Even the Rover car was not particularly comfortable to drive in on such uncaredfor Khasi Hill roads.  It was annoying also that the year's petrol allowance was so low.  Dr Hughes himself had an attack of Infectious Hepatitis, and his matron, Miss Margaret Owen, was desperately overworked at Shillong.  The other missionary nurses also enjoyed poor health in 1949.  Miss Morfydd Jones had a backache and was off work for weeks.  Miss Mollie Parker had a severe attach of pleurisy.  Dr Hughes pleaded for additional experienced nurses.  He informed the Revd David Edwards that the Hospital in Shillong needed sisters of experience for dealing with patients, nurses that were not too afraid of hard work or liable to crack up under the amount of work which will fall to their lot in Shillong, possessed of what he called 'a certain amount of gras ataliol (restraining grace).  He argued that such women were not lacking in the Presbyterian Church of Wales, and he concluded his letter, 'please find a few and send them out to Shillong.'[14]

    The travelling dispensary was in full swing.  So was the evangelistic, medical holistic campaigning.  It had been on the road for a whole month with tremendous success.  The big vehicle had taken Dr Hughes to the market places of Umening; Nongpoh; Sylhet Road, Shillong; Laitlyngkhot;  Lyngkyrdem;  Dowki and Mawphlang (Mawngap), Cherrapunji.[15]  They were all happy to welcome the Welshman who incarnated his Saviour to them.  The evangelistic services had all gone with a swing.  He had met informed, inspired men and women throughout the Khasi Hills.  The generosity of E R Jones had been well-used, and the experiment was well underway.  There were two men being trained at Martandam, and the hospital compound was going to be utilised to establish a full scale experimental plant breeding station.

    Meanwhile, David Edwards was trying his level best to find a doctor that could be of assistance to the Shillong Welsh Mission Hospital.  In a letter to Dr Hughes, dated 21 July 1950, he mentioned that the Liverpool Welsh doctor, Dr Charles Evans, FRCS, who later distinguished himself as a conqueror of Everest and as Principal of the University of Wales, Bangor, was going to work on the frontier of Tibet and Nepal.  He was sailing from Bombay on 23 August and Edwards had asked Dr Charles Evans whether he could consider spending six months at Shillong.  But nothing came of it.[16]  But he was hopeful that he could find an assistant.

    In his letter of 7 September 1950 David Edwards mentions how he and two other Liverpool Welsh Presbyterian Ministers, the Rev C Lloyd Williams, Anfield, and R Gile Williams, Stanley Road, Bootle, had travelled to Cardiff to visit the Revd D S Davies (1887-1950), minister of Waterloo Welsh Presbyterian Chapel, North Liverpool.  David Stephen Davies had been a missionary in Shangoong and minister of Waterloo since 1927.  While staying with his sister during the National Eisteddfod in Caerphilly he had been taken ill when he was diagnosed as suffering from Cancer of the Pancreas.  They were given a warm welcome in the wards of Llandough Hospital, and Edwards realised that he

    might be particularly glad to receive a letter from you.  Send him a short note to cheer him up. 

    Edwards had the right hunch, for D S Davies had a high regard for Dr Hughes.[17]  He was one of three who had written glowing references in support of his application to be a missionary.  Professor O Herbert Williams had said:

    I know of nobody who from the point of view of disposition, special academic attainments and the experience of surgical appointments is as suitable as he is for the work.[18]

    Another Liverpool Welsh surgeon, W R Williams also stated

    I can think of no one more fitted that Arthur Hughes to take up this great work.[19]

    D S Davies had added in Welsh

    Yn fy marn i nid oes ymgeisydd cryfach wedi ei gynnig ei hun ers rhai blynyddoedd  [In my opinion there had not been a stronger candidate which has offered himself as candidate for a number of years].[20]

    But the Revd D S Davies had died before the letter arrived on 19 September 1950.

    David Edwards had his own personal problems.  His mother was coming to the end of her life.  Her heart was been troublesome for some years, and the missionary-cum-administrator was travelling from his office in the Abercromby area of Liverpool to the village of Rhosllangerchrugog, outside Wrexham, every evening to see her.  It proved a great strain, and he himself suffered a heart attack in June 1951.  He died on 18 June 1951 at the early age of forty five, denying Missionary work a remarkably enthusiastic minister who had experienced the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the Lushai of the 1930s.  One of his last letters to Dr R A Hughes was a happy one in which he disclosed that a first class surgeon, in the person of Dr Norman Tunnel, and his wife, Phyllis, were willing to come to Shillong.[21]

    The never-ending missionary of the nineteen fifties

    Dr R A Hughes had his hands full, keeping up his continual communications with the office in Liverpool, arranging a full day's involvement at the hospital, travelling with the dispensary to the villages, and keeping in contact with the local political, social and religious leaders.  He acknowledged in March 1950 the cheque that he had received from Lady Chow and her husband, Sir Andrew Chow.  He had been overwhelmed with joy that the Revd Dr H Gordon Roberts had returned to take charge of building a new hospital in Jowai which relieve him of that added responsibility.  He told Lady Chow:

    It is a great joy to us that Dr Roberts should have decided to come out, for no one has his range of experience in building affairs and, moreover, he has a capacity for extracting the last ounce of co-operation from engineers, contractors and workers, an ability which is of tremendous value in those days.[22]

    Dr Hughes and the hospital received a visit from the Governor General, Mr Rajagopalcharia.  During this visit Dr R Arthur Hughes took the initiative for some plain speaking, for he had been distressed by the Shillong talk that the Welsh Presbyterian Mission was giving up or that the Government had taken over the hospital.  He stressed the independence of the hospital and while he was in charge it would remain a beacon of hope for the whole region in Cymry India.[23]

    Dr Hughes was still travelling some 1000 miles a month to the main market towns.  Political changes within the Indian sub-continent were to have considerable effect for all the missionaries.  The troubles in Calcutta after Independence brought more people up to Shillong and fewer people came up from Sylhet.  Dr Hughes and Mrs Nancy Hughes had seen big changes in the Shillong area since they arrived in 1939 and more were to come.  It was now unusual, he claimed, to 'meet white faces' in the bazaar out shopping'.[24]  Shillong had experienced changes beyond comprehension.  He regretted some of these though he welcomed others.  In particular he welcomed the facilities to travel by air to different regions of the vast country of India.  In 1956 he was able to travel to Vellore in southern India for a medical conference and stayed with the Governor General of Madras.[25]  The Governor General was acknowledging the kindness that Dr Hughes had shown to his brother who he had been operated on at Shillong for Acute Gangrenous Cholecystitis.  Dr Hughes visited the Union Mission Sanatorium at Arogyavarum which was, indeed, a time of inspiration.  The Sanatorium performed medical wonders of the highest possible standard, and their laboratory work was truly amazing.  Then he arrived at Arogyavarum for the Biennial Conference of the Christian Medical Association where he was regarded as one of the most distinguished leaders of the fraternity.

    Dr Hughes was still concerned with the need to have British personnel, like himself preparing young men and women for the task of taking over the hospital that had been set up by the missionary societies.  He was a seer when he wrote on 31 January 1956 these words

    If it then happens that we, as missionaries, are turned out, we ought then to have a group of competent young people who could carry on if the Government will let them, but it would be of the utmost value to us if we could get, even for one term, sound and enthusiastic people from home who could help us to get this training established, and make it possible for someone like me to specialise and achieve a higher standard in a narrower field instead of being a Jack of all trades – and its collorary.[26]

    Dr Hughes was going to sail from Calcutta in March 1956 for Liverpool.  He was longing to see Nancy and their son, John.  Dr Peter Adeane Shave had been assisting, and Dr Hughes felt the difficult decision, of returning to Shillong or staying in Liverpool, where most of his friends lived.  But the call of India could not be silenced.  The situation was truly desperate in the villages.

    The statistics were appalling.  Infantile morality rates of approximately 300 per 1000 people were the best that they could find, and in some villages the rates reached 500:  that is, 500 of every 1,000 children born alive died before reaching the age of ten or twelve.  Every child over the age of six months had an enlarged spleen, for the area was one where Hyperendemic Malaria was endemic.  If Malaria and Dysentery could be controlled, infant and child mortality could be drastically reduced.  In addition to these two killers, there was frequent evidence of malnutrition, Maramus, Rickets, Kwnashiorkor, Phrynoderma, Yeropthaslmia, Anaemia, Goitres and Keratomalacia, and it seemed that Vitamin A deficiency was possibly the commonest cause of blindness among the young.

    Dr Hughes also came up against total superstition and ignorance that was deeply rooted.  The older generations in the villages resented his new knowledge.  They claimed to know best and were most resistant to change.  He felt that the whole success of his missionary philosophy was at stake.  As he expressed himself years later:

    This kingdom of disease, death, ignorance, prejudice, fear, malnutrition and abject poverty was most surely a kingdom which ought to be overthrown by the Kingdom of our God.

    It was a radical mission, as he admitted:

    It seemed obvious that we had one duty of those people, namely, 'In whatsoever city that we entered in, to heal the sick – and say unto them, the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you' – and, to effect this, to change their diet, clean their homes, protect the water supplies, use Prophylactic medicines for Malaria and have emergency stocks of Sulfas for dysentery' indeed to turn their world and their thinking upside down.

    This could be achieved by establishing a travelling dispensary service to take over from the experimental unit that had been in operation for three years.  The opportunity came when the women of the South Wales Auxiliaries made a donation in memory of the late Miss Margaret Buckley.  With this gift Dr Hughes was able to purchase and equip a vehicle as a travelling dispensary, which for almost twenty years travelled a thousand miles a month on the main roads of the Khasia Hills, bringing medical aid to the people in the market-places.  It is not surprising that future generations came to call him the 'Schweitzer of Assam', for he embodied the skills and vision of Dr Albert Schweitzer and his personal life even excelled the famous doctor of Lambarene.

    Before Dr Hughes's son, John, returned to Britain, he walked with his parents to these villages.  His father said it all when he wrote the sentence

    We shall miss him dreadfully when he has to go to school at home, and we shall have to do our best to make these years here memorable.[27]

    The 1960s in Shillong

    Dr Hughes had a fairly bad coronary attak at the beginning of the 1960s.  It happened shortly after he had returned back to Shillong from Liverpool.  He was off work for three months but he was able to welcome General Srinagesh, Governor of Assam, on his visit on 30 March 1960, and to thank him for the generous donation of 1000 Rupees for the Extension Account.[28]  His determination to teach the Khasi people healthy living did not leave him.  He preached the need for healing the whole person.  Dr Hughes argued that a man or woman who is ill as an individual is separated from the rest of humanity.  They are isolated, often lonely, and are unable to experience fellowship in the community.  The sick person is often bereft of dignity.  He or she is a weak, helpless individual.  Dr Hughes argued that the hospital or medicine or the nurse must restore them.  But so much depends on the individual himself.  He gives an example of a Khasi who had Calculus Cholecystitis which he had concealed for months.  Eventually, he agreed to be treated.  The operation, however, was postponed twice, because of his own fear.  Finally, it was performed at the Welsh Mission Hospital.  There was no difficulty in so far as the experienced surgeon was concerned.  After the successful operation, the Khasi folded his hands on his chest and began muttering prayers without ceasing, indeed till he died some 36 hours later.  Within a few hours of the operation his pulse was 140.  His fear, in other words killed him.  At the post-mortem there was no signs of Haemorrhage or and Cardiac Lesion.  It was sheer panic, he had been given hope, but his mind and fear was stronger than his heart.

    The pastoral concern of Dr Hughes was still fully evident to his fellow Welsh missionaries.  This is reflected in a long letter to the Revd Llewellyn Jones, dated 3 July 1960, on the death of Mrs Edwin Adams.  The service was held at Mawkar Chapel, Shillong, on Monday 4 July 1960.  Dr Hughes portrayed her as a brilliant organist.  She, a native of Pembrokeshire, played the organ at Mawkar.  Her sense of humour was a delight.  He added

    Those who knew her will treasure the memory of her sense of humour, for without malice, it was of the order which belongs to faith and which knows that God has the complete answer, even when, fretful self, in its importance, doubts God's capacity to deal with man's situation.[29]

    In her last days she was calm, and she asked Dr Hughes 'How is the battle going?'  He replied:  'Hardly – but you are not beaten yet', and she replied, 'Oh, no.'[30]

    Dr Hughes added on behalf of his fellow workers

    As missionaries we have a sense of deep personal loss, and we know that her memory will remain green in our minds as long as we sing.[31]

    At the time of the General Assembly the Presbyterian Church of Wales at St David's Chapel, Pontypridd, in June 1966, Dr Hughes was on furlough and I will remember hearing him addressing us in the Church of his twin borther, the Rev John Harris Hughes.  On 20 June the Revd Alun C Morgan gave to the Revd Wellburn Manners a Communion set in memory of Revd and Mrs Edwin Adams.  Revd Edwin Adams was a member of Rehoboth Chapel of Hakin, Pembrokeshire and his beloved wife had been an organist.

    Dr Hughes was proud of the extension of the Gospel to the lives of communities in Cymry India.  The increase in size in the 1960s was around three thousand new members a year.  In 1962 the communions of the Khasia-Jaintia Hills amounted to 108,756.  It was a young church.  The schools needed encouragement  and, in particular, needed well-qualified teachers.  But his main concern was medicine.  This remained a huge task.  He mentioned in 1962 that it would take two hundred years before the village communities of the Khasi hills would have one doctor for every ten thousand of the population. 

    I well remember my first introduction to Dr Hughes at the General Assembly in Pontypridd.  The floor of St David's Chapel was full to hear him speak.  It was a moving address.  I remember the impact that he made on me as a young minister who laboured a few miles up the valley in the mining townships of Abercynon and Penrhiwceibr.  When a patient leaves a hospital, said the saintly surgeon, he should praise God.  To thank the nurses, doctors and the surgeon is all right but the important thing is to praise Almighty God.  It was pure Calvinism.  Gratitude is not enough.  For God will not be worshipped by men obligated to Him, but by those believers who love Him.  I felt that we had the privilege that night, 20 June 1966, to praise God for missionaries of the spiritual calibre of Dr R Arthur Hughes; and I was full of admiration for the young Presbyterians who were going out to Cymry India: a daughter of  missionaries,  and a Liverpool-born minister and his wife who was a native of Cardiff.[32]  A week earlier, Dr Hughes also had addressed, at Lampeter, the South Wales Women's Association.  At the Sasiwn, he spoke of Tuberculosis Meningitis in the children of the Khasi Hills.  The source of infection was near to them, most likely their own parents, or elderly members of the family.  He mentioned the case brought to him by Miss Blodwen Harris.  The boy, named Weiloi, died at Shillong.  So did his brother.  Then he treated the mother and the youngest daughter for Chronic Tuberculosis.  The mother was the source of the disease and she had managed to infect all her children.  This was happening daily.

    He undertook a survey of school children in Mawphlang to assess the nutritional status of the population, to investigate all the families suspected to have a TB case amongst them, and to teach them the principles of better living and eating.  Poor housing, bad diet, overcrowding were all responsible for Tuberculosis.  It was foolish to minimise the connection.  Poverty and ignorance were enemies of medicine.  The need was obvious.  Vitamins and aids to good nutrition in the form of milk and multipurpose food, were essential  to build up their strength and resistance.

    Dr Hughes was honoured at the National Eisteddfod of Wales when it was held at Llandudno in 1963.  He was invited to be the leader of the delegation for the impressive ceremony to welcome the Welsh from all over the world back to their homeland.  The Cymry ar Wasgar ceremony, as it was called, gave a great deal of joy to leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Wales.  Dr Hughes had been honoured in the town where his father, the Revd Howell Harris Hughes, had ministered so faithfully for a quarter of a century.  The Revd D O Calvin Thomas of Tenby, a well-known preacher, wrote to him on 18 August 1963 to thank him for the eisteddfod address. 

    I was particularly grateful for the whole emphasis of your words and the strong sense of the supreme importance of the Gospel they conveyed.[33]

    Revd D O Calvin Thomas invited both of them to stay with him at Narberth Road, Tenby, 'a pleasant town in summer', as he rightly calls it.

    Returning to Liverpool

    Dr Arthur Hughes and his supportive wife Nancy retired from Inida and left Shillong on 16 May 1969.  Two days earlier, the citizens of Shillong met in a farewell party, with the hills men of Khasia there in their hundreds.[34]    He had become a living legend.  They came to pay homage to a missionary who had brought them the blessing of medicine and the Gospel, for in 1944 he had been elected an elder and played his full part in the life of the Presbyterian Church at Mawkar.  When he rose to reply, he had to halt frequently, for he did not want to leave Shillong.  Within three years he and his wife had returned for the Jubilee Ceremony of the Khasi Hills Presbyterian Hospital on 25 March 1972.[35]  He delivered another thought-provoking address, quoting William Shakespeare, William Blake and Rabindranath Tagore.  Dr Hughes emphasised the need for friendship and compassion for each other.  He then concentrated on the value of the healing process, for it meant freedom from bondage.  It was Dr Hughes at his best:

    But we have believed that when men have been freed from bondage to disease they might perhaps become free men for the first time, to decide in liberty, their own responsibilities of greater stature and responsibility, and able to be, perhaps, better Christians, Hindus, Muslims, more loving and more concerned for all men.[36]

    Then came this classic statement of his own deep concern for others:

    But the greatest of all liberties which even the sons of God can achieve, is the glorious liberty of being able to serve each other in love – free to serve across the barriers of language, race and creed.[37]

    In the subsequent twenty-seven years that he was spent in Liverpool, he was daily in communion by letter, telephone and in his conversations with his friends in Cymry India, and he made frequent references to them in his sermons and his prayers at the monthly Monday missionary prayer meetings.  Also he welcomed Khasi men and women to his home to stay and these visitors helped him recall the years of service.  His lasting memorial as a surgeon is the Hospital at Shillong, together with the  excellent souvenir volume published in 1997.  It was most fitting that Dr Pherlock Lamare, who occupies Dr Hughes' post today, should travel to his funeral at Bethel Presbyterian Church of Wales, Heathfield Road, Liverpool on Monday, 10 June 1996.

    After returning to Liverpool Dr Hughes was appointed Sub-Dean in the Faculty of Medicine.  His colleague, Professor T Cecil Gray said of him in an obituary:

    He was a pioneering Sub-Dean in that he encouraged 'in situ' training in general practice years before this became generally accepted.[38]

    In 1984 Dr Hughes was asked to go back to Shillong Hospital to help in a difficult situation and again in 1991 he and Nancy, with others from the Mother Church, participated in  the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of and of the arrival of Thomas Jones[39] and the coming of the Gospel to the Khasia Hills.  It gave him great joy to open a new building in the Ri Lyngngan and to take part in the open-air service on a Sunday afternoon at the golf course before a congregation estimated at a quarter of a million people.[40]

    He was honoured by his own Church in Liverpool, being elected an elder in 1971, and then Secretary.  He was elected Moderator of the Presbytery and finally was invited to be Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Wales.  His twin brother, the Revd John Harries Hughes, was elected Moderator at the General Assembly held in Liverpool in 1975, while Dr Arthur Hughes was nominated as Moderator-elect at another Liverpool-based General Assembly (literally three hundred yards from his home) in 1991.

    Through the loving care of his wife, the kind sensitivity of the administrative office in Cardiff, the prayers of the Church and the devotion of his own doctor, Dr Colin D McKean, he was able to attend the committees, meetings and services, the Association meetings and the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which he thoroughly enjoyed, as well as presiding at the General Assembly Board and the Annual Assembly of his own Church, held that year, 1992, at Selly Oak College, Birmingham.  This was most fitting, as so many of the missionaries had received training before their journey to India.

    As his Minister and close friend, I was glad to be given the opportunity at his bedside on Saturday, 1 June 1996 at the Cardiothoracic Centre, Thomas Drive, Liverpool 14, to lead a Presbyterian (Church of Scotland) service of Preparation for Eternal Life.[41]  His smile was evident as I read the commendation of the Lord Jesus Christ his Saviour, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'  Together with his wife, there were also present his fellow-elder, the physician Dr John G Williams, his only son Dr John Hughes with his daughter-in-law, Mrs Hughes.  Later that month we travelled to Llandudno where his father had spent twenty-five years ministering at Seilo and Hyfrydle, a chapel on the Great Orme.   We felt privileged to have known this man, and a fourteen year old girl, Bethan Evans, from the Bethel, Heathfield Road Sunday School, summarised it all for us when she wrote in her school project on Dr R Arthur Hughes 'I miss him very much.'  So do all who knew him in Shillong and Khasia Jaintia, as well as in Britain.

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    [1] NLW CM Archives 27, 413.  Letters 1939-1950.

    [2]Dr R Arthur Hughes had a tremendous admiration for D H Gordon Roberts and wrote a fine tribute to him in Nine Missionary Pioneers:  The story of nine pioneering missionaries in North East India, ed:  J Meirion Lloyd, Caernarfon, 1989, pp 61-85.

    [3]A ward was set aside in the Welsh Mission Hospital for British soldiers who needed surgical care.  For the greater part of the War, the Hospital also undertook  x-ray work for the military hospitals of Shillong.

    [4]Nigel Jenkins mentions how time and time again he met older Khasis who wanted to talk to him about Dr R Arthur Hughes: 'Dr Hughes saved my life in 1964';  'Dr Hughes cured my son's cancer';  Dr Hughes was a saint – if poor people couldn't pay, he'd cut their bill in half';  'Dr Hughes worked so hard that he'd take his breakfast and lunch in the operating theatre…';  See, Nigel Jenkins, Gwalia in Khasia, Llandysul, 1995, p 303.

    [5]NLW ms:Letter of R A Hughes to David Edwards dated 6 July 1948.



    [8]There are entries on all these missionaries (that is, Beryl Edwards, Basil Jones, T E Pugh etc) in the Welsh language volume that I edited, Llestri Gras a Gobaith:  Cymry a'r Cenhadon  yn India, Lerpwl/Liverpool, 2001.  William Carey, Publisher, will produce the English version in June, 2003.

    [9]Letter of R A Hughes to David Edwards, letter dated 5 August 1948.

    [10]NLW ms: Letter of R A Hughes to David Edwards, letter dated 27 September 1948.

    [11]NLW ms: Letter of David Edwards to R A Hughes, letter dated 29 October 1948.

    [12]NLW ms: Letter of R A Hughes to David Edwards, letter dated 3 September 1949.


    [14]NLW ms: Letter of R A Hughes to David Edwards, letter dated 15 March 1949.

    [15] ibid

    [16]NLW ms: Letter of David Edwards to R A Hughes, letter dated 21 July 1950.

    [17]D S Davies had written a warm appreciation of his father in the Liverpool Welsh monthly journal, Y Glannau, after the death of the Revd H Harris Hughes.  See D S Davies 'Y Diweddar Barch H Harris Hughes, BA, Llandudno', Y Glannau, Mai 1950, p 10.

    [18]For a biographical note in Welsh on Professor Owen Herbert Williams (1884-1962), see, D Ben Rees, Cymry Adnabyddus 1952-1972, Lerpwl a Phontypridd, 1978, pps 195-6.

    [19]For an appreciation of W R Williams, see D Ben Rees, 'The life and work of Dr William Robert Williams' in The Welsh of Merseyside in the Twentieth Century – Volume 2 by D Ben Rees, Liverpool, 2001, p 55.

    [20]NLW CM Archives 27, 413.  Letters 1939-1950.

    [21]Letter of David Edwards to R A Hughes, letter dated January 24, 1951.

    [22]Letter of R A Hughes to Lady Chow, undated letter of March 1950.



    [25]Letter of R A Hughes to Dr Brockfield of Vellore, dated 31 January 1956.


    [27]An undated letter from Dr R A Hughes to Dr Brockfield sometime in February 1954.

    [28]Letter of Dr R A Hughes to General Srinagesh, dated 6 April 1960.

    [29]Letter from R A Hughes to Revd Llywelyn Jones, dated 3 July 1960.



    [32]The three were Bethan Williams, the Revd William George Barlow and Pamela Barlow

    [33]Letter from the Revd D O Calvin Thomas, Highway, Narberth Road, Tenby to Dr R Arthur Hughes, dated 18 August 1963.

    [34]He received letters from many of those whom he had been treated at Shillong Hospital.  For example, Pastor Chawna, from Tripura, India, sent him a letter to his new home on 12 August 1969.  Dr Hughes had treated him and his wife and had healed thousands of other people of all classes, the rich and poor.  Pastor Chawna was, in the summer of 1969, serving the Riang people, primitive, half-naked animists, who lived mostly on wild potatoes, roots, bamboo shoots and jungle bananas.  He wrote to Dr Hughes in a Calvinistic spirit:  'The Lord restored my life through your kind surgery  I must not be idle, I must work more.  I have an experience that the more I work, the more happy I am.'

    [35]R Arthur Hughes ' Address at the Jubilee Ceremony of the Khasi Hills Presbyterian Hospital, 25 March 1972, The Treasury, July 1972, pp 23-24.

    [36]ibid, p 24.


    [38]T Cecil Gray, 'Robert Arthur Hughes', British Medical Journal, Volume 313, 3 August 1996.

    [39]When he visited Shillong in 1972, 1984 and 1991 he was visiting the new state of Meghalaya.  It came into existence as an autonomous state on 2 April 1970, and became a fully-fledged State on 21 January 1972.  It was the homeland of three ancient hill communities, the Khasis, Jaintias and Caros.  The area comprised 22,429 square miles.  It has 4,902 villages and twelve towns.  The principal languages are Khasi, Jaintis, Garo and English.  While he visited Shillong in 1991 he was invited to lunch by P P Kyndish (speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly), a distinguished leader of Meghalaya, at his home in Mahatma Gandhi Road, Shillong.  Later, Dr Hughes read his book, Meghalay:  Yesterday and Today, (New Delhi, 1990, pages 1-107), on his flight back from Delhi to Heathrow.  P P Kyndiah in a letter to Dr Hughes from Shillong, dated 13 May 1991 wrote of Thomas Jones, 'the legacy he gave us cannot be measured in human terms.'  He added on Thomas Jones (1810-1949) 'God in his greatness and fathomless wisdom chose him to be a pioneering missionary to bring light of unique meaning to our race, in dimension that could not be foreseen and understood, until today.'

    [40]Nigel Jenkins has captured the atmosphere in Gwalia in Khasia (Llandysul), 1955, pps 11-12.  'But in 1991 in Shillong, capital of the Indian state of Meqhalaya, some 250,000 people, a quarter of all Khasis, walked, drove, rode and scootered from every corner of the land to celebrate the life and work of a Welshman who, unknown in Wales, is a people's hero in the Khasi Hills.  The crowd that assembled on Shillong golf course to mark the 150th anniversary of the coming of Thomas Jones, a carpenter's son from Manafon, Montgomeryshire, numbered thousands more – the Rev Tomlin would have been gratified to note – than even the Pope managed to muster at a similar golf course jamboree in 1986….  Not the least of his legacies is the church he founded which, with a growing membership of 300,000, is considerably more vital that the 'beleaguered' mother Church in Wales with its dwindling platoon of 55,000 souls.'

    [41]A bilingual volume was published in 1991 under the title The Presbyterian Church of Wales, A Book of Services (Caernarfon) under the editorship of the Revd Dr Elfed ap Nefydd Roberts to replace both the previous Welsh Llyfr Gwasanaeth  (1958) and The Presbyterian Service Book (1968) but none of them had a service of Preparation for Eternal Life.  The is why as a Presbyterian I followed the Church of Scotland service on 1 June 1966.

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