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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2Lt (A/Capt) W. Francis Bunt, OC 143 Labour Coy

Kimberley John Lindsay

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Dear GWFs,

Elsewhere on this really First-class Forum, Niko ably re-opened a topic, kindly posting Christmas 1918 pictures showing Officers and ORs of 143 Infantry Labour Company, at Berchem, a suburb of Antwerp, in End of War mode.

One of the signatures on the reverse was happily deciphered, thereby revealing an incredible amount of detail about the man behind the flowery 'W.FrancisBunt' signature: namely the O. C., 143 Lab. Coy., Captain W. F. Bunt. (His subalterns were also similarly identified, but which was which?)

Indeed, despite the Labour Corps being much looked-down upon by medal dealers and collectors, the medal group to Capt Bunt would surely be described as 'desirable'!

1914 Star: 33 Acting Corporal W. F. Bunt, R.A.M.C. (Entered France on 4 October 1914 as a Private with 1st London Sanitary Section, RAMC.)

British War Medal 1914-18; Victory Medal 1914-19: Acting Capt W. F. Bunt. (Commissioned temporary 2Lt., Labour Corps, 28 November 1917, from RAMC, A/Cpl.; A/Capt 31 July 1918.)

Mention in Despatches, London Gazette No. 31088 of 30 December 1918: T/2Lt (A/Capt) W. F. Bunt, 143rd Labour Company (Sir D. Haig's Despatch of 8 November 1918).

Croix de Guerre (Belgium), London Gazette No. 31537 of 4 September 1919: 2nd Lieutenant William Francis Bunt, Labour Corps ('distinguished services rendered during the campaign'). 

Croix Civique, 2nd Class (Belgium), London Gazette No. 32428 of 19 August 1921: Temporary 2nd Lieutenant William Francis Blunt, Labour Corps ('distinguished service during 1914-19').

The London Gazette further revealed that Temp. 2Lt Blunt had been appointed A/Capt while commanding 143 Labour Coy on 31 July 1918, and relinquished his acting rank on ceasing to command the Coy on 13 January 1919.

Barry and Phil ably supplied post-Great War information regarding the highly-decorated 'temporary Gentleman' William Francis Bunt (who must have dome something outstanding between August and November 1918), namely that his address in London, S.E., was "The Ravensbourne Club". He is also noted as living at Duke House, Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

Does anyone have his medals, or, indeed, know more...?

Kindest regards,

Kim.Capt W. Francis Bunt, 1919.jpg

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay
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