Hugh Iorys Hughes
Hugh Iorys Hughes (born 16 April 1902  in Bangor; died 1977 ) was a civil engineer and keen yachtsman who advised the War Office on the design of the Mulberry harbours used in Operation Overlord.
In 1917 Churchill drafted plans for the capture of the islands Borkum and Sylt, off the Dutch and Danish coasts. He planned using caissons to form an artificial harbour when sunk on the seabed. The proposal was shelved and forgotten until 1941, when Hughes came up with a similar idea for using caissons as part of a jetty while working as a civil engineer in London. He submitted his plans to the War Office and these were ignored until Hughes' brother, Alain Sior Hughes who was a Commander in the RNVR, drew attention to the documents. Following Winston Churchill's famous memo 'Piers For Use On Beaches' dated 30 May 1942 the Mulberry project gained momentum under the direction of Major General D J McMullen and civil engineer Brigadier Bruce White. An early priority was the construction of trial installations in the Clyde estuary at Gare Loch. Hughes designed and supervised construction of a prototype jetty consisting of 'Hippo' concrete caissons sunk on the sea bed supporting 'Crocodile' steel roadway bridge units which spanned between the Hippos. The prototype was built at Conwy Morfa near Hughes' home town of Conwy and towed to Garlieston Wigtownshire in Scotland where it was installed and tested against two other designs both of which were floating roadways. During the testing a storm created scour of the sea bed around the Hippo units which in turn lead to them tilting resulting in the failure of the Crocodile spans; due to this failure Hughes' design was not selected for use on the Mulberry harbours.
Hughes' ashes were spread in the Menai Straits after his death in Colchester, Essex. His former family house in Bangor is now let to students of Bangor University, and has a Blue plaque outside of it in his honour.