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Remembered Today:

Trying to identify a man who died in Indo China, 1917


Stephen Nulty
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I was strolling through Prescot St Mary’s Churchyard on Saturday when I spotted an inscription on the stone shown below.

The inscription reads, “ Barbara Appleton Hunt, the beloved child of Joseph James & Alice Hunt, who died April 16 1919, aged 7 years 2 months. Safe in the arms of Jesus”.

But the lower part of the stone has the inscription “Also The Above, Joseph James Hunt, who passed away in Haiphong Naval Hospital, China, May 2nd, 1917, aged 27 years”. I don't think he would actually be buried in this grave.

At that time, Haiphong would have been in French Indo-China. I am assuming that he was either Royal Navy or Merchant Navy, but that’s about as far as I can get.

I have been unable to identify this Joseph James Hunt in any online records (After his marriage in 1910) so thought it might be worth throwing it open to the floor for ideas/suggestions.

post-1356-0-23187900-1347365698_thumb.pn

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I don't believe that there was a naval hospital in Haiphong however I think there may have been something at Haiphong Road in Hong Kong

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And the US Marines had something at Haiphong Road Shanghai (which later became a Japanese internment camp in WW2)

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He might also be a civilian, or in the Mercantile Marine, in which case CWGC wouldn't cover him: but the GRO Indexes of deaths of British citizens overseas might, if anyone has access to them.

Clive

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Thanks guys.

I had thought about the civilian aspect, Clive, and assumed that might explain an absence from CWGC.

I'm continuing to dig and will keep this thread updated.

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He's gone away some time between his marriage in 1910, and the 1911 census. On the 1911 census, Alice Hunt is living with her parents, James and Emily Appleton, at 4 Eccleston Street Prescot.

Am I right in thinking he's the man born in Denbighshire?

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Stephen

Looking at passengers lists, there are many combinations of names and initials that could be relevant, but there is one man, given as J. J. Hunt, born 1891, who left London in 1914 on the 'Nubia'. He is given as 'Master Mariner.' The ship's destination was Yokohama, Japan, but his destination was China. Just another thought.

Sue

P.S. He was a passenger, not a member of the crew

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Not listed in British Nationals died oversea, 1915 - 1918

There is only 1 J Hunt listed and he was lost at sea on Almwick Castle - Torpedoed of Rame Head, Plymouth, March 1917.

Grant

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All good useful information, helping to put a picture together.

Many thanks to all

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Stephen

Looking at passengers lists, there are many combinations of names and initials that could be relevant, but there is one man, given as J. J. Hunt, born 1891, who left London in 1914 on the 'Nubia'. He is given as 'Master Mariner.' The ship's destination was Yokohama, Japan, but his destination was China. Just another thought.

Sue

P.S. He was a passenger, not a member of the crew

Master Mariner usually meant a man qualified to command a ship (had his masters ticket) - it would suggest that he was on his way to take over command of a ship.

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Yes, and if he was a Master Mariner at 23, he must have already spent a lot of time at sea which may account for him not being in the UK for the 1911 census (if this was the man, of course).

Sue

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The excellent Welsh Mariners website http://www.welshmariners.org.uk (mercantile officers of Welsh birth) gives a possible candidate in the following:

HUNT, Joseph James. Born Wrexham, Denbighshire 1887. Certificate of Competence no. 006408. Second Mate 1911.

NA Kew ref. 123/2

Clive

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Ancestry have just added a set of British Masters and Mates Caertificates. There is only 1 Joseph James Hunt, with the certificate mentioned above. The certificate adds he was qualified as a "2nd Mate of a Foreign going steamship", and is dated 1st June 1911. It was issued at Liverpool.

Regards,

Alf McM

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All of which suggests that he was an officer on a merchantman who was taken sick (or injured in an accident) in the far east and taken to an available hospital where he died. There appears to have been a substantial hospital in Haiphong (French Indo China) since at least the 1880s (it being mentioned in American newspaper reports of a major cholera outbreak) but this was not a naval hospital. There is some evidence that there were medical facilities with naval connections at both Haiphong Road Shanghai and Haiphong Road Kowloon. It would seem likely that the inscription on the stone is a little in error.

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Again, thanks everybody, you've all been really helpful

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If you look at Joseph's 2nd Mate Certificate on Ancestry, and move to the pages before and afterwards you will see another 4 documents relating to him. These give details of his exam as well as details of his height, hair colour etc., aamongst other things.

Regards,

Alf McM

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  • 4 years later...

Hi guys.

now i realise this is an old thread. But i only just came across it.

 Alice, or Tal as she was known was married to Joe Hunt. Now my memory of stuff is quite good. it is my belief that Joe was Merchant Marine and Died in Haipong Naval Hospital and is Buried in Hanoi.

The info here is very useful as i am finally getting around to some family history.

as a child i clearly remember a portrait photo of Barbara hanging on the wall.

as far as i am aware Joe was born Liverpool 1888

 

thanks for the info guys

Edited by ivor evans
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Hello Ivor, and welcome to the the forum

 

As you'll have noticed,  I started this thread out of curiosity when I spotted the headstone inscription, so I hope it's provided some useful information.

 

BTW, I was also born in Whiston Hospital and am a native of Kingsway :)

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hi.

thanks Steven it has been of use. i appreciate the photo of the grave marker. this is not far away from the grave of my Father who died 1948 age 29. i recall visiting and putting Flowers on these graves regularly with Aunt Tal.

Brings back a lot of childhood memories.

Thank you.

 

Ivor

Edited by ivor evans
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26 minutes ago, ivor evans said:

hi.

thanks Steven it has been of use. i appreciate the photo of the grave marker. this is not far away from the grave of my Father Robert Thomas Evans who died 1948 age 29. i recall visiting and putting Flowers on these graves regularly with Aunt Tal.

Brings back a lot of childhood memories.

Thank you.

 

Ivor

Ivor might want to remove his personal details.

 

TR

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