Hugo Dawson was a science teacher from York, who refused to enlist in World War I. He began working as a farmhand at Emmerdale Farm in August 1915, however, resident Maggie Sugden was cold towards him. Maggie ended up warming to Hugo when Hugo told her that his wife, Anne, and son, Joshua, were killed in a house fire in c.1913. In November 1915, Maggie fell down a ghyll, but was relieved to learn that she hadn't miscarried her baby. The incident made Hugo think that he should return home so that Maggie could reconcile with the villagers and have one of them to help. Maggie refused to allow him to leave. Maggie fell for Hugo, but their moment was interrupted by Hugo noticing The Woolpack on fire. He ran through the crowd of people and into the burning building, with Maggie racing after him. Hugo saved Iris, and Hugo gave her to Maggie to take outside. Hugo managed to retrieve Ava Bainbridge, but she died. The villagers changed how they they thought of Hugo, especially after hearing how his family died, and no longer allowed him to be branded a coward. Hugo's injuries meant that he was unable to help Maggie with farm work, but he still stayed with her at the farm whilst the villagers helped with the work.