CWG: Private Robert Hunt

Private Robert Hunt

Robert Edward Nichols Hunt was born in Somerton, Somerset in 1894. One of five children to Charles and Rose Hunt, his father was a bootmaker.

By the 1911 census, however, things had taken a different turn; Charles and two of his sons were working for a brewer, Rose was working as a shop assistance in Boots, and the youngest of the family, Kate, was apprenticed to a dressmaker.

It was against this backdrop that war came, and, within a year, Robert had enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps. His sign-up documents confirm that he was short sighted, although this was corrected with glasses and he was deemed fit for active service.

Sent to the Western Front in October 1915, Private Hunt definitely found himself in the thick of the action.

In August 1916, he was supporting the fighting at High Wood on the Somme, when a gas shell exploded near him. He fell and, when he woke, he remembered little of what happened. Robert had inhaled a lot of gas, however, and was left coughing with difficulty breathing. He was transferred back to England by train and ship to recover, arriving back on the 2nd September.

There is no record of Robert having gone back to the front. The impact of the gas appears to have been severe and long-lasting. At the end of October 1918, he was admitted to the Becket House Auxiliary Hospital in St Albans with influenza and bronchial pneumonia. Sadly, this was to be a battle he would not recover from, and he passed away on 4th November 1918. He was 24 years old.

Robert Edward Nichols Hunt lies at rest in the cemetery of his home town, Somerton.


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