George William Willis Bunting was born in Faversham, Kent, in the spring of 1889. The middle of eleven children to George and Mary Ann Bunting, he was also the oldest boy. George Sr was a labourer in the town’s munitions works, and his son followed suit, and was recorded as a cordite labourer there in the 1911 census.
When war came to Europe, George Jr was keen to play his part. He enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and was assigned to the 343rd Siege Battery. While full details of his service are not available, George’s life was laid out in a newspaper report following his death:
The death has occurred in quite pathetic circumstances of Battery Quartermaster Sergeant George William Bunting, 1st Kent Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery… who, after serving throughout the war, and coming unscathed through more than three years service in France, though he had several narrow escapes, had died of pneumonia at his home, just as he was anticipating return to civil life.
BQMS Bunting joined the Faversham Volunteer Corps (in which his father also formerly served) some seven years before the war, and when was broke out he was at the annual training with the Battery. War service immediately followed and in 1915 he went to France and, except for leave, had been out there ever since until a few weeks back when he returned for demobilisation. He was not feeling at all well when he arrived home, indeed he seems to have been so unwell that when he got indoors he remarked “I’m done.”
His words, unhappily, were only too prophetic, for he never left the house again, pneumonia developing and culminating in his death on February 27th, only nice days after his arrival.
Prior to the war the deceased, who was in his 30th year and unmarried, had been employed at the Cotton Powder Works ever since he left school. At the commencement of his war service, he was a Corporal, but his keenness at his work steadily gained him promotion and eventually he reached the rank of Battery Quarter Master Sergeant. Keen and conscientious himself, he expected the same in others, and it says much for his example and influence that he was held in the very highest regard by the men of his Battery, while to his officers he was a greatly valued NCO.Faversham News: Saturday 15th March 1919
Quartermaster Serjeant George William Willis Bunting died at his Faversham home on 27th February 1919. He was just 29 years of age. He was laid to rest in the town’s Borough Cemetery.