HUNT, Jack Henry

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Enlistment Address

Wingadee, Coonamble. NSW

Service Number

4806

Unit

13th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement

Comment

Gilgandra Coo-ee

Fate

RTA October 1917

Information

Private Jack Henry Hunt 4806, Private William Laurence Hunt 4805 and Charles Henry Hunt 4804

Jack Henry Hunt 18 years, and his brother, William Laurence Hunt, 20 years, were labourers from ‘Wingadee’, Coonamble NSW when they enlisted in Gilgandra on October 9 1915 with the Coo-ees. When their father, Charles Henry Hunt heard that they had enlisted, he caught up with them at Raglan and enlisted himself. He was a 43 year old widower and his only daughter, Pearl, was at the Convent in Dubbo. The men marched together with the Cooees to Sydney to train at Liverpool. They embarked to Egypt aboard HMAT A15 Star of England on March 8, 1916 with the 13th Battalion. All three transferred to the 45th Battalion and arrived in France at the Western Front in June 1916, facing Pozieres and Mouquet Farm as part of the Battle of the Somme in August 1916.

Jack and William were together on September 9 1916 when they were both fined one day’s pay for the offence of ‘eating reserve ration without permission’.

William was on active service at the front when he was wounded but stayed with his unit until he was admitted to hospital in November 1916 with “trench foot” (frost bite). He remained in England convalescing at the command depots at Perham Downs and Weymouth. In November 1917 he attended the Winchester Engineering Works for a course. William appears to have remained in England until he returned to Australia aboard the Runic on September 22, 1918. He was discharged in Sydney on January 31, 1919.

Jack was admitted to hospital in March 1917 with “trench foot” (frost bite) and transferred to England to the 2nd Southern Hospital and then to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford England. His toe was eventually amputated and Jack returned to Australia on October 19, 1917 by the hospital ship Lyttleton for three months change. But he never returned to the Western Front. He was discharged medically unfit on January 28, 1918 in Sydney.

Charles suffered shell shock and bruises but remained on duty. In October 1916, he was admitted to hospital in England with pleurisy and returned to Australia on the Beltana. He was discharged permanently unfit for active service in February 1917. He died in a motor car accident in 1930. The vehicle was driven by Mr Sidney Bennett, possibly the fellow Coo-ee.

Jack and William are commemorated on the Gilgandra Cooee Memorial Gateway. All three men received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.