Alfred Hunt

Rank: 
Lieutenant
Regimental number: 
730653
Unit at enlistment: 
111th Battalion
Force: 
C.E.F.
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Volunteered
Survived the war: 
No
Date of death: 
April 14th, 1918
Cemetery: 
Roclincourt Military Cemetery - Pas de Calais, France - IV.C.6.
Commemorated at: 
St. Luke Anglican Church, Marlborough Street United Church
Birth country: 
Canada
Birth county: 
Brant
Birth city: 
Brantford, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
142 Elgin Street, Brantford, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
142 Elgin Street, Brantford, Ontario
Trade or calling: 
Gentleman
Religious denominations: 
Church of England
Marital status: 
Married
Age at enlistment: 
42

Letters and documents

Circumstances of Casualty: Killed in Action. While on duty at the entrance to Headquarters’ dugout in Pudding Trench, in the vicinity of Fampoux, he was hit in the throat and instantly killed by shrapnel from a shell which landed nearby.

BX April 28, 1918

Lieutenant Alfred Hunt Killed in Action – Instituted Boy Knights and Girl Companions' Work Here

Word was received this morning by the Brantford Patriotic Association officials that Lieut. Alfred Hunt of this city had been killed in action. The association was asked to convey to Mrs. Hunt and the relatives of the office here the sad intelligence. Lieut. Hunt was very well known to Brantfordites in connection with earnest and faithful work, in which he was leader among the your people, especially the boys and girls of St. Luke's Church and the Boy Knights' corps, which he established in the East ward. For many years he had organized the boys and girls into useful occupations and was a teacher of ideals to the young, which made him greatly respected and loved. Before his departure in one of the C.E.F. units he established a vocational school where the Girls' Companions took care of many little tots during the summer. Outings for the Boy Knights were part of his labors and in their leader the Knights always had the benefit of a splendid example of zeal and faithfulness. In his recent letters to the Boy Knights and Girl Companions, which Lieut. Hunt addressed to them through The Expositor, he urged all to live up to their principles and expressed a longing for the time when he would be back among them to carry on the work which had secured such a splendid start to his city.

His letters from old English towns were very interesting to all. By vocation, he was a music teacher, but he had at various times been connected with St. James' and St Luke's Churches, and had always done good work.
            
Lieut. Hunt was unable to get placed in any of the Brant Battalions, but his earnestness to do his bit would not be denied, and he finally received an appointment with the 111th Battalion of Galt, with which he left for overseas. He spent several months in England, and had only recently gone over to France. The official notice stated that he had been killed April 14. 

He leaves a wife residing at 142 Elgin Street, and also a father and mother in this city. He will be greatly missed from the community which he left to answer the call of King and Empire, a call which was answered by every eligible member of the Boy Knights when the war got under way. 

BX May 6, 1918

Memorial Service for Professor Alfred Hunt

At St. Luke’s Church last evening a service in memory of Professor Hunt, recently killed at the front, was held. Mr. Mitchell of Huron College sang evensong and read portions of the burial service, while Mrs. Norris and a large choir had charge of the music and settings. Mrs. Norris contributing with marked effect the Dead March in “Saul.”  In his very appropriate address Mr. Mitchell spoke of the good and lasting work Mr. Hunt had carried on amongst the young people for many years and of the spirit of noble sacrifice he had shown even until the last. The church was filled to its utmost capacity.

BX May 31, 1918
 
How Lieutenant Alfred Hunt Came to His Death
 
The following letter has been received in the city by friends of the late Lieutenant Alfred Hunt regarding that officer's death at the front:
 
"He joined my platoon only a day or two before we went into the line, and I was indeed glad to welcome him into it," wrote Lieut. Harold W. De Guerre. "I had known him quite well from being the adjutant of the 111th Battalion. We had always found him of estimable value in organizing little 'smokes' and gatherings for the men. He continued to do this sort of thing when we reached England, and I well knew his worth. The men were ever grateful to him for the many good times he gave them. He was indeed a courageous soldier in the trenches and I believe he came to France though he had the chance of staying in England. A piece of shrapnel hit him in the neck. A memorial is being erected to Lieut. Hunt in St. Luke’s.

BX June 4, 1918

Memorial Tablet Dedicated to Lieutenant Alfred Hunt

A Memorial tablet of white marble, suitably inscribed, has been placed in St. Luke’s church in memory of the late Lieut. Alfred Hunt. The memorial was subscribed for by members of the Boy Knights and Girl Guides, and by friends of the late Professor Hunt. The tablet was dedicated at the 8 a.m. celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday last.

BX October 31, 1916

Wounded Boy Knights

A letter was received today by Kenneth Vansickle, from Prof. Alfred Hunt of the 11th Battalion, who is at West Sandling camp, stating he had a fine trip overseas. He called at the hospital to see one of his old Boy Knights, Signaller Ernest Vansickle, Private W.H. Vansickle, father of Signaller Vansickle, is also wounded and a Northumberland hospital. Henry Rogers also a Boy Knight, is at Shorncliffe. Lieut. Hunt is rounding up his old boys and wishes to be remembered to his Boy Knights in Brantford, and hopes they will continue to do the work he started here until he returns to them.

BX August 18, 1917

Message to Boy Knights – Former Commander Writes from Shorncliffe Camp

Lieutenant Alfred Hunt, now in England, sends the following letter to the Boy Knights and Girl Companions here:

July 18, 1917
Shorncliffe Camp

My Dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions in Brantford

I am delighted to hear of the good work that you all are doing. I have received the most encouraging reports of how our boys in Brantford are doing their utmost in gardening and various other ways which is but only a help to their parents, but also to our country during this heavy stress of war time we are passing through.

It is also pleasing to know that you are doing as well, those who are working at their trades and those who are at school in their classes. Our boys over here are very much encouraged and they feel that the work of our older Boy Knights has not been in vain. And while they are upholding the honor of our Boy Knights in the army on active service you are doing likewise at home. Many of our boys are holding very responsible positions. Some as you know have gained high honor. Many have been wounded, and many have passed within the gates of their eternal home, where we shall all look forward to joining them when our Heavenly Father sees fit to call us.

I am kept very busy with my various duties in military life, choir work in the garrison church, my boys’ class, and a certain amount of social work. In addition, each day brings its duties and its opportunities for sowing the good seed. And I know that our Boy Knights at home are proud of the record made by their old companions. 

Fessor is well and feeling in good fettle and we shall certainly have a grand reunion when we all come home. I know from your letters how you miss me, but it is my duty to do all that is possible to help here, and I know you all want me to do my duty to the uttermost, and we will have all the better time when I come home.

God bless you all, your parents and friends, my dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions. 

With best wishes, your leader,

Alfred Hunt

BX September 8, 1917

On a Visit to Canterbury – Prof. Alfred Hunt Writes Interesting Letter to His Former Pupils

August 19, 1917

My Dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions,

It is indeed a great pleasure to receive your many frequent letters and your news of home from time to time, for which I desire to thank you. I intend to give you in this letter a short description of my visit to Canterbury and its ancient cathedral, in which I know you are all interested.

The arms of Canterbury have these words inscribed on them “Ave Mater Angliae,” (Mother of England). And well may she lay claim to this title if tradition and the facts of scientific history are correct.

The original name of the place in Saxon is Cant-bara-Byrig, “the stronghold of the men of Kent,” and “the stronghold in the Marsh.”  It was the fortified place of the Belgic “Uare” or veeman settlers in the Cant or Hugle of the island long before the first Roman set foot on the British shore. The rudely oval shape which marks the bulwarks, bears striking evidence of having been built in pre-historic times. Canterbury was indeed a place of much importance even in the days of Celtic Britons before they were supplanted by the Belgae.
 
The number of ancient implements of the pre-historic age found in Canterbury and its immediate neighborhood indicate human habitation here at a time when the island formed part of the continent and remains belonging to the Neolithic bronze and iron ages prove continuous occupation of this part of East Kent during the whole pre-historic period.

The earliest British gold coins were struck in Kent about 200 B.C., when Canterbury was already an important military and commercial centre. In 45 B.C., it was stormed and taken by Julius Caesar.

Canterbury therefore has many claims to the title of “Mother of England.”  As the casual visitor enters into the ancient city, his interest deepens. On every hand stand mementos, buildings of the past linked up as it were with the present. Here we go through the west gate built in 1380, used during the following centuries for various purposes, and still solid and firm, built as if to last for eternity. At this gate the ancient city walls commenced with a moat on the outside. Imagine the assaults that these walls have withstood from time to time.

Taken by the Romans twice, by the Danes, the France and numerous other attackers in addition to withstanding the ravages of time, the old castle with its Norman keep, the third largest in Britain, with walls eleven feet thick, still stands. The ancient Church of St. Martin’s was supposed to have been built by the early Roman Christians. Going down Watling Street, one of the great Roman roads, close to the city hall, stands the Invicta, one of the first engines made by George Stevenson and the one that first made the trip to Canterbury. Going down Northgate Street, we pass many interesting old houses. Staplegate given by King Ethelbert to St. Augustine, the Lion Inn celebrated in Charles Dickens works, the old butter market and the memorial to the Canterbury poet.

We also saw the King school famous in history, the ancient Norman staircase, St. Augustine College and numerous other ruins that speak of past greatness. 

The Cathedral

But the pride of Canterbury is the cathedral. Who would not feel in awe in passing into the historic building. Here on this spot formerly the ancient grounds of the Palace of King Ethelbert, the King of Kent, the Gospel has been preached since 597. Many are the changes that have taken place, but the services have been held unbroken. Here is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of our Anglican church. Here in the nave we find displayed on the pillars the colors of numerous of our Canadian battalions which have gone to the front. No more fitting place could have been found for them.

I attended service in the cathedral. It was one of simplicity and yet still in full keeping with the ancient building. I also attended the anniversary service of the French Huguenots which was held in the Crypt, where they have worshipped for hundreds of years since their expulsion from France. This service was attended by the mayor and [?] While in Canterbury I was a guest at a very ancient hostel called “The Butcher’s Arms.”  Close by was the building where the Black Prince used to stop.

But, my dear boys, I am afraid that your patience has already been exhausted and I had better store the rest for some other time. I am in splendid health and all the rest of the B.K. who are here are likewise.

With best wishes,

Fessor

BX December 8, 1917

Boy Knights – Former Commander Writes from Bramshott Camp to His Boys

November 9, 1917
Bramshott

My Dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions,

I have been returned on infantry draft to my old reserve, the fourth at Bramshott. While I had a good position at Shorncliffe and they wanted me to stay there, yet still when placed on draft as men were needed, I considered it my duty to go.

It was very hard parting with the boys and girls as we had just got things nicely organized for the winter’s work. I had five junior captains in our organization and they were filled with just as much enthusiasm at our Boy Knights. They were splendid workers, and as a result of their efforts much good will be accomplished. I think it would be a useful lesson to a great number of the Brantford boys and girls if they could see how willingly these boys and girls undergo hardships and privations during this war time, the boys’ sturdy little fellows, lending a helping hand wherever they are able.

The positions of many of them are greatly altered to what it had been before the war, and yet still you rarely hear them complain. I have been reading an old English poem of the fourteenth century called “the Vision of Piers the Plowman.”  He has three different stages in the life of his main character. These are called “Do well,” “Do better” and “Do best.”  It seems to me that I would like to see all my “Boy Knights and Girl Companions” pass through these stages that is to mount higher and higher on the pathway of life in helping others and in their own individual work. “Do well,” “Do better” and “Do best.”  How many of our “Boy Knights” here and at the front have developed along these lines. I met Howard Drummond. He is a leader among his comrades in manliness. Bert Faulkner, the same old boy, is full of fun and life, but wielding an influence among his associates for good. These and other like boys smile at the hardships and turn a deaf ear when temptations come their way. You, my dear boys and girls, may not be able to share in the active work over here but you each have an important work to do at home. Find out what it is and do it. I am in splendid health and look forward to the time when we shall all meet again. With best wishes,

Your sincere friend,

Alfred Hunt

BX January 4, 1918

A Letter to The Boy Knights – Former Commander of the Local Corps Writes Home Interestingly

December 7, 1918
Bramshott

My Dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions,

Having had the opportunity of a visit to the Midland districts of Old England, I am sending you a short description of several of the places visited by me. I first stopped at old Whitney. Here it was that the ancient Witan used to meet, on an island that was about seven miles long formed by the River Windrush dividing. Down this river or up, as the case might be the ancient Britons would paddle their boats to this meeting place. There were two principal tribes at this time and the river formed the dividing line between them. Many and fierce were the battles they had. And even to this day the same rivalry is shown between upper and lower towns in Whitney, these still being divided by the River Windrush. An enjoyable morning was spent with the headmaster of St. Mary’s School, Col. Hayter. Whitney takes its name from the old Witan and means meeting place.

Having revived an invitation to visit Mr. Monk, a local historian at Burford, we proceeded to do so, he taking us to the many objects of interest to be seen in that district. Burford has the oldest appearance of any place that I have seen in England. All of the houses have the small leaded panes of glass, stone flag floors, narrow passages, old fashioned inns and being quite a distance from a railway is not troubled with traffic. At the same time it is a noted place in British history.

Here it was on a spot called battle edge in the year 740 A.D., that the armies of Mercia and Wessex faced each other. The men of Wessex after being ground by the Mercians for years, resolved to fight for their liberty, which they gained. All day long the battle raged, the slaughter was enormous, but at twilight the western king was able to declare himself the victor. From then until the time of Cromwell the anniversary of this latter was marked during the revelries of midsummer with the carrying of the golden dragon of Wessex through the town. A half a mile to the west of the own, in the reign of Henry VIII, was a race course that was attended by the princes and nobles. Here the Burford King Alfred held his court and his celebrated Boethius was completed. The first great meeting of the Synod of the Church of England was held here in 685, being attended by Ethelred King of Mercia, Theodore Archbishop of Canterbury, Alhelm Abbot of Malmesbury and other noted princes and nobles. The word Burford is taken from the Old Saxon name Boerford, and means a fort which seems well borne out by the many struggles that has taken place here. The Earl of Warwick, the kingmaker, was Lord of Burford in 1460. Here he assembled his army before engaging in conflict with King Edward. Cromwell fought in the streets against a section of his army that had rebelled and afterward using the beautiful church as a prison, and when three of the rebels were condemned by court martial they were brought out and placed against the church walls and shot, the marks of the bullets being still plainly seen.

To the right of the village are remains of the old royal forest of Wychwood, one of the five words mentioned in the Doomsday Book. This wood was the haunt of many outlaws and poachers, and many deeds of violence were done here.

Within a mile or so of the town are the famous quarries where most of the stone for St. Paul’s Cathedral, London was secured. Both the old and the new were taken, it being conveyed by means of boats down the River Windrush into the Thames and so to London.

The Almshouses were erected by the Earl of Warwick and some of the ruins at present in existence have sheltered within their walls such people as Queen Elizabeth, Oliver Cromwell, King James, King Charles I, King Charles II, Nell Gwyn, Earl of Banbury, William III and numerous other celebrated people.

The finest and most ancient building and one which is visited by thousands yearly is the old church of St. John the Baptist, the earliest portion of which dates back to the year 1160. The most perfect specimens of early stained glass windows in England are here, as these were not destroyed during Cromwell’s time. The height to the top of the steeple is 180 feet. There are seven small chapels situated around the main body of the church, and the beautiful work in these is beyond description, also a very ancient font, hundreds of years old, at the entrance; wonderful tombs with marble figures of the ancient knights and their fair ladies.

Before concluding this short sketch, I must tell you that Mr. Monk informed me that our own village of Burford in Brant County was called that in remembrance of the ancient Burford here by settlers from Burford, England. Many other things of interest I could tell you about this place, but will have to reserve them for another opportunity. On the way returning I visited Minolu Lovell church and castle, the story of which has been celebrated by poet in song and story.

And now my dear Boy Knights and Girl Companions, these forefathers of ours of old built well and truly, that these remains of their labors should have lasted through these long centuries of time. What lessons there are for us all to learn from them? Are you my young friends, doing your best so that when you arrive at manhood and womanhood you will have prepared a foundation on which to build a happy and successful life, one of usefulness to others?  Each one of us has his place to fill in life, let us do it to the best of our ability. I am in splendid health and look forward to the time when we shall meet again. Many of our old boys I have met lately and they sent their best wishes to all Brantford friends.

Your sincere friend,

Alfred Hunt

BX April 27, 1918

To the Boy Knights Here

The following letter has been received in the city, written by Lieut. Alfred Hunt to the Boy Knights and the Girl Companions of Brantford

Before leaving Bramshott I arranged a gathering of all I could get together of our old 111th Battalion boys about 40 in number. We had a little reunion, and it was very pleasant seeing all the old familiar faces. Yet our thoughts were sad in thinking of those who had passed to the great beyond, though we felt that a better and greater day was looming for all. So none of us must worry, for that never aids matters, but all should do the best they can, which certainly helps things to move along smoothly and happily. I know my Boy Knights and Girl Companions always strive to do their best.

I had Willie Mathers with me for three days. He is the same bright and happy boy. He has certainly done his bit. Harold Drummond was also with me for a while. He has developed wonderfully. Fairfield Wallace ran across me suddenly the other day. He has done well. Little Andrew Rogers is still with me, and if he is not tall in stature, he is still full of grit. 

I have also met numerous others of our old boys and the sturdy fellows from Brantford. White Gilbert, Harry Burtch, Tug Stewart, and others. They all spoke of the Boy Knights and the work they have done.

So, boys and girls, I ask you to look forward to the future. The time will soon be here when we will be able to build our work on broader and deeper foundations.

I have had many amusing experiences which I will tell you in another letter soon. In the meantime, carry on with the best of your ability in whatever circumstances you find yourself placed.

BX March 7, 1916

Professor Lieut. Hunt of the Boy Knights is busily engaged in the work of raising a platoon of Boy Knights for active service work.  The headquarters of the platoon will be at the Boy Knights’ armories.  Several have already offered their services and a large number have signified their intention of doing so in the near future.

BX March 24, 1916

Alfred Hunt Joined at Galt

Prof. Lieut. Alfred Hunt, for the past five years head of the Boy Knights of this city, journeyed to Galt on Wednesday last and signed up with the 111th Waterloo Battalion there, where he will report for duty on Monday next. Arrangements have been made whereby Lt. Hunt will be permitted to visit the city once or twice a week to superintend the Boy Knights work. Lt. Hunt is a married man and has seen considerable military service in this country. For over 16 years he has been actively associated with Boy Knight work in this city, having been head of the department here for over five years, with the rank of lieutenant. He has also had 11 years’ service with the 38th and for over five years has been connected with the C.S.C.I.

BX May 23, 1916

Bade Farewell to Their Leader – The Boy Knights Presented Equipment to Lieutenant Alfred Hunt, Now with 111th Battalion

To bid farewell to their leader, Lieut. Hunt, who is with the 111th Battalion at Galt, a large number of members of the Boy Knights, their mothers, fathers and friends, including several of the old boys from the corps. who have joined for active service, gathered in the armories of the Boy Knights last evening. Lieut. Hunt for over 16 years has been actively engaged in Boy Knights’ work in this city. In bidding farewell to the boys, of whom he had been for a number of years O.C. he asked them to be faithful and true to their new leader and remember what had been accomplished in the past by their organization – a standard which they should at least maintain, and if possible advance.

A pleasing part of the evening’s entertainment was a presentation of a well worded address, as follows:

Dear Professor,

We, the members of the Brantford Boy Knights, regret very much losing our leader. You have given your time and talent so liberally and have always been so kind to us, doing everything in your power for the good and welfare of the boys. As a slight token of appreciation on behalf of our corps. we ask you to accept this gift as a remembrance of our boys. We sincerely trust that you will be spared to return to us in health and strength. From the boys of the Brantford Boy Knights.

Lieutenant Alfred Hunt replied fittingly, expressing his appreciation of the gifts. Dainty refreshments were served by the Mothers’ Guild and an enjoyable special hour spent.

Medals Presented:

Medals were during the evening presented to the following members of the corps:

Anderson, Ross
Bennett, L.
Campbell, C.
Campbell, Frank
Dennis, C.
Eggulders, B.
Farr, Frank
Finch, C.
Graham, Roy
Houghting, Bert
Johnson, Earl
Linn, George
Lockyer, Charles
Martin, W.
McCloy, G.
Monkman, Cecil
Moore,
Perce, James
Reed, Frank
Reynolds, W.
Richards, J.
Richards, T.
Shirmer, R.
Steed, Robert
Sterne, C.
Stewart, Jack
Styles, A.
Teague, Alfred
Vansickle, Kenneth
Wills, Archie
Wills, Edward

BC September 19, 1916

Farewell to Lieutenant  Alfred Hunt

There was a large gathering last evening at the Boy Knight Armouries to bid farewell to Lieut. A. Hunt of the 111th Battalion, who is home on last leave before leaving next week for overseas.

Captain Forbes Thompson, who will be in charge of the work during the absence of Prof. Hunt, acted as chairman for the evening.

Lieuteant Hunt gave a very instructive as well as interesting address on camp and army life and Mr. Thompson also spoke along the same line, drawing moral lessons from the address of Lieut. Hunt.

Mr. A.G. Ludlow spoke during the evening and presented to Lieut. Hunt a shaving set and box of cigars, the gift of his friends and the Boy Knights.

Lieutenant Alfred Hunt, although taken entirely by surprise, made a feeling reply to his friends, thanking them for the remembrance and wishing them continued prosperity during his absence. All the members were greatly enthusiastic over the future and promised to carry on the work so ably begun by Lieut. Hunt. The good accomplished by this society is well known thought the city, but perhaps it is not known that 59 of the boys who have trained under Lieut. Hunt are now serving their country or have made the supreme sacrifice of their lives. It is certainly a record to be proud of, and Lieut. Hunt may now leave with the full assurance that upon his return he will find the organization established upon as firm a basis as when he left.