Hunt, Charles F.

Hunt, Charles Francis (Charles)

Captain

2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade

Killed in action on Saturday 25 September 1915 (aged 38)

Buried:

Y Farm Military Cemetery, France (Grave L. 22)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood Masonic Lodge No. 254

Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland Roll of Honour

BIOGRAPHY

During the Great War, Captain Charles Francis Hunt served with the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own) and, when he was a Colour Sergeant stationed at Holywood, he was a member of Holywood Masonic Lodge No. 254 (from 20 November 1907 until 21 May 1908).

Captain Hunt was killed in action on 25 September 1915, and he was buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, France.  There was very heavy fighting at that time, and at least 240 men were killed or wounded, including six officers killed and three wounded.

His wife Rose (sometimes Rosie) was living at 9 Doneraile Street, Fulham Palace Road, London S.W. when she received the news of his death by telegram from the War Office, ‘Deeply regret to inform you that Captain C. F. Hunt, Rifle Brigade was killed in action between 25/26 September.  Lord Kitchener expresses his sympathy’. Captain Hunt was awarded a trio of medals:  Victory, British War, 14 Star.

Captain Hunt’s name is commemorated in Holywood Masonic Lodge No. 254 and his name is listed in the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland Roll of Honour.

Charles Francis Hunt achieved the rank of Sergeant (No. 3845) while he served with the Rifle Brigade during the South African War.  He enlisted on 18 June 1895 (aged 18), reengaged on 11 July 1906, and was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 11 November 1914.  He served overseas in South Africa (26 September 1899 to 19 September 1901), in Malta (12 April 1904 to 24 October 1906), in India (8 March 1910 to 22 October 1914), and with British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from 5 November 1914.  It is on record that the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade went out to France with 29 officers and 930 other ranks.  During the war, at least 12 officers died, and they left some 800 men buried in France.

It is recorded that Charles Francis Hunt was born on 15 July 1877 and he was a son of Spencer James Hunt and Phoebe Isabel Hunt.  He was baptised Francis Charles Hunt on 21 October 1877 in All Saints Parish Church, Kensington, Middlesex.

Spencer James Hunt and Phoebe Isabel Hunt had at least seven children:

Spenser J (born around 1872)

Ethel P (born around 1875)

Charles Francis (born 17 June 1877 or 15 July 1877 – records vary)

Madeline F (born around 1880)

Malcolm C (born around 1881)

Ernest Arthur Augustus (born around 1883; worked as a clerk in the Stock Exchange; enlisted in the Royal Artillery (No. 302) on 30 October 1899 in London aged 16 years 4 months; served in Malta; married Ann)

Harold Stuart (born around 1890; served as a Corporal (No. G/43550) with the 5th Battalion Middlesex Regiment from 7 September 1914 to 31 May 1919; wounded in action; silver war badge no. 457035)

Their father, Spencer James Hunt, died in 1918, and their mother, Phoebe Isabel Hunt, died in 1921.

Charles Francis Hunt and Rose (sometimes Rosie) Louisa Bell were married on 3 June 1909 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip and St James).

Rosie Bell was baptised on 10 February 1886 in St John’s Parish Church, Winchester, Southampton. Her father, Frederick Bell, was a bricklayer; her mother’s name was Matilda, and they lived in Water Lane, Winchester.

Charles Francis Hunt and Rose Louisa Hunt (nee Bell) had one son:

Desmond Charles Hunt who was baptised on 4 September 1910 (‘said to be born 21 August 1910) in St Peter’s Church, Fort William, Calcutta, India.

Desmond Charles Hunt died in 2005.  He married Phyllis I.V. Earley (born 1915; died 1998).

After her husband died, Rose Louisa Hunt (nee Bell) remarried.

Rose Louisa Hunt (nee Bell) and Arthur George Foreman were married on 20 December 1919 in Farnham Church of England Parish Church, Surrey.  Arthur George Foreman (aged 37), a soldier, was a son of Henry George Foreman, deceased.  Rose Louisa Hunt (aged 31) was a daughter of Frederick Bell, deceased.

Quartermaster Sergeant Arthur George Foreman (No. 8438) also served with the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade, and had been awarded a trio of medals:   Victory, British War, 14 Star.

It is interesting to note that the witnesses at Rose’s marriage to Arthur George Foreman were the same two people who were the witnesses when she married Charles Francis Hunt:  Benjamin Bradshaw and Ethel May Bradshaw.  Benjamin Bradshaw may also have served with the Rifle Brigade.

Arthur George Foreman of The Eclipse, The Square, Winchester was an inmate in Park Prewett Asylum when he died on 15 April 1930, and he was buried on 19 April 1930.  His effects amounted to some £217 and these he left to his widow Rose.

Rosie Louisa Foreman (formerly Hunt, nee Bell) was 73 when she died and she was buried on 11 August 1959 in Magdalen Hill Cemetery, Winchester.  She had been living at 29 City Road, Winchester.