Charles Henry HUNT

Charles Henry HUNT

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4804), Charles Henry Hunt was born at Hargreaves, N.S.W. He gave his age as 43 years, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 6 feet 1 ½ inches tall, weight 176 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and medium brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

According to William Laurence Hunt’s and Jack Henry Hunt’s service records, Charles Henry Hunt signed consent forms (for persons under 21 years of age) for his two sons to enlist on 7th October 1915. According to the Bathurst Times, their father saw them off in the start of the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra, ‘but the thought of the parting was too much for him’.[1]

He went to Dubbo to enlist, and completed his medical on the 28th October 1915 (two weeks after the Coo-ees had passed through Dubbo), and was attested at Dubbo on the 28th October 1915. He then proceeded to Bathurst to catch up with the Coo-ees. According to the National Advocate, ‘on the road from Bathurst to Yetholme … a father, hearing that his two sons were amongst the marchers, overtook them near Raglan, was examined and took his place alongside his two sons’.[2]

After catching up with his two sons and the Coo-ees on Friday 29th October between Bathurst and Yetholme, he completed the Coo-ee March and went to Liverpool Camp, as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Wingadee, Coonamble, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as daughter, Miss P. O. [Pearl Olive] Hunt, St. Patrick’s Convent, Dubbo, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Hunt, along with his two sons, and many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private Hunt left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 8th June 1916.

Private Hunt served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916 then moved with it to Pozieres in early August 1916. On the 16th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was being relieved from the front line trenches between Pozieres and Martinpuich, France. Private Hunt was evacuated to the 7th Field Ambulance with shell shock and bruises. He rejoined the Battalion after only a short absence.

On the 28th October 1916 the 45th Battalion was training at Brucamps, France when Private Hunt was evacuated to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, France, suffering from Pleurisy. He was discharged on the 24th November 1916 and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, arriving on the 25th November 1916. On the 4th December 1916 Private Hunt was admitted to the 26th General Hospital. On the 7th December 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Cambria sailing from Calais, France, for evacuation to England, suffering from Debility.

On the 11th December 1916 Private Hunt marched into the Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England. On the 25th January 1917 he was transferred to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England. On the 30th January 1917 Private Hunt underwent a medical board where it was determined that he suffered from Pleurisy and Rheumatism and he was classified as not suitable for active service nor home service.

On the 17th March 1917 Private Hunt departed England aboard the HMAT Beltana bound for Australia. He arrived in Sydney on the 15th May 1917, and was discharged as medically unfit on the 9th June 1917.

[1] ‘The Coo-ees’, The Bathurst Times, 10 October 1916, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109934579

[2] A “Tramp falls in. Father joins his two sons’, National Advocate, 30 October 1915, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158152728

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