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Frederick John Hunt, East Surrey regiment and Machine gun corps


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BradleyWalker

Hello

Was just wondering if anyone had any information or photos of my great great grandfather who served in Africa. He served in the east surrey regiment and later, the machine gun corps. He was discharged in December 1918 due to permanent injuries.

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You are best checking the local newspapers of either where he lived, or his parents. If he joined up in 1914 onwards , look for dates around his join up time as the family may have submitted a photo of him in his nice new uniform, as many families did. Otherwise check around the time he was discharged as there maybe a photo and/or a write up about him and his war service.

 

Sadly you are not guaranteed to find anything.

Edited by temptage
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Gunner 87

 

Hi Bradley, welcome to the forum.

 

Did your Great Grandfather, Frederick John Hunt, 2385, 150287 and 11241 serve with the Surrey Yeomanry, Machine Gun Corps and East Riding of York Yeomanry? I can only find one other, a Frederick John Hunt, 201444, who's served with the East Surrey Regiment. 

Edited by Gunner 87
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Gunner 87
45 minutes ago, busterfield said:

From Lives of the first world war. MGC 14646, East Surrey 11652

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/2566698

It has a link to a medal card, discharged 16/12.1918

 Thank you busterfield, found him now. 

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21 hours ago, BradleyWalker said:

Hello

Was just wondering if anyone had any information or photos of my great great grandfather who served in Africa. He served in the east surrey regiment and later, the machine gun corps. He was discharged in December 1918 due to permanent injuries.

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

When you say served in Africa 14646 Hunt was aged 24years when discharged from the Army in 1918, why do you think he served in Africa? No Battalions of the East Surrey Regiment served in Africa during the Great War.

 

The Silver War Badge card shows enlistment 23rd August 1915 yet I'm confident his service number for the East Surrey Regiment dates from the beginning of January 1916.  His medal entitlement shows he did not serve in a theatre of war until after 31st January 1915.

 

It appears he first went on active service with the East Surrey, this must have been soon after his posting there as he was transferred to the MGC at the beginning of March 1916. This implies he was only on active service with the East Surrey Regiment for a relatively short period.

 

He is a bit of an outlier on the MGC Rolls, in that he is a single transfer whereas those around him are in blocks from various other regiments.  He stands out, so it is a bit of a puzzle.

At this time the MGC was still being established, only having come into being the previous October and most Companies were forming in January from the MG Sections of line infantry regiments. You will note the men below him on the Roll were in the HLI which may be how he ended up in the 9th (Scottish) Division.

 

There is a fragment on FMP that shows he was wounded (Severely) whilst serving with the BEF in France with the 9th Battalion MGC.

He was repatriated to the UK and admitted to St George's Hospital Hyde Park Corner on the 9th October 1918, and as a consequence subsequently discharged from the Army on the 16th December 1918.

 

The war diary shows 18 other ranks wounded in attacks East of Ypres on the 28th/29th/30th September, it is possible he was wounded earlier or later, but this period seems the most likely.

 

You can download the diary for free from TNA at present provided you register

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352524

bear in mind it was formed from the Brigade Companies in March 1918.  None of the diaries are likely to mention other ranks by name, but you never know.

 

 

 

 

 

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BradleyWalker

Hi

thank you all for letting me know his battalion and service number. 

He was discharged on 16th december 1918, as my family have his discharge certificate. I think he joined the easy surrey regiment first, then left to join the machine gun corps.

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BradleyWalker
3 hours ago, busterfield said:

From Lives of the first world war. MGC 14646, East Surrey 11652

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/2566698

It has a link to a medal card, discharged 16/12.1918

A file from Familysearch which gives the impression there may be more. If it is the correct F. Hunt ?

fhunt.JPG

This is the correct frederick john hunt. Thank you for finding this info

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BradleyWalker
23 hours ago, kenf48 said:

Hello and welcome to the forum.

 

When you say served in Africa 14646 Hunt was aged 24years when discharged from the Army in 1918, why do you think he served in Africa? No Battalions of the East Surrey Regiment served in Africa during the Great War.

 

The Silver War Badge card shows enlistment 23rd August 1915 yet I'm confident his service number for the East Surrey Regiment dates from the beginning of January 1916.  His medal entitlement shows he did not serve in a theatre of war until after 31st January 1915.

 

It appears he first went on active service with the East Surrey, this must have been soon after his posting there as he was transferred to the MGC at the beginning of March 1916. This implies he was only on active service with the East Surrey Regiment for a relatively short period.

 

He is a bit of an outlier on the MGC Rolls, in that he is a single transfer whereas those around him are in blocks from various other regiments.  He stands out, so it is a bit of a puzzle.

At this time the MGC was still being established, only having come into being the previous October and most Companies were forming in January from the MG Sections of line infantry regiments. You will note the men below him on the Roll were in the HLI which may be how he ended up in the 9th (Scottish) Division.

 

There is a fragment on FMP that shows he was wounded (Severely) whilst serving with the BEF in France with the 9th Battalion MGC.

He was repatriated to the UK and admitted to St George's Hospital Hyde Park Corner on the 9th October 1918, and as a consequence subsequently discharged from the Army on the 16th December 1918.

 

The war diary shows 18 other ranks wounded in attacks East of Ypres on the 28th/29th/30th September, it is possible he was wounded earlier or later, but this period seems the most likely.

 

You can download the diary for free from TNA at present provided you register

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352524

bear in mind it was formed from the Brigade Companies in March 1918.  None of the diaries are likely to mention other ranks by name, but you never know.

 

 

 

 

 

I think he served in Africa with the machine gun corps, as he caught malaria and there's a story of him catching a native African stealing from his tent, the African then tried to attack him with a knife and Frederick shot him in self defence. 

He was a sergeant before that but was demoted back down to a private 

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21 hours ago, BradleyWalker said:

I think he served in Africa with the machine gun corps, as he caught malaria and there's a story of him catching a native African stealing from his tent, the African then tried to attack him with a knife and Frederick shot him in self defence. 

He was a sergeant before that but was demoted back down to a private 

 

You have to remember that there were many Africans shipped over to Europe who served in Labour Corps and the like, so although the shooting incident could well have happened, it could easily have happened in France or Belgium too.

 

Malaria had outbreaks in just about every country involved in WW1, because of the way it was spread. Many sub-Saharan conscripts could have brought the disease with them, and if your 2xGGF was working with or around them, then could quite easily have caught it from one of them.

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BradleyWalker
59 minutes ago, temptage said:

 

You have to remember that there were many Africans shipped over to Europe who served in Labour Corps and the like, so although the shooting incident could well have happened, it could easily have happened in France or Belgium too.

 

Malaria had outbreaks in just about every country involved in WW1, because of the way it was spread. Many sub-Saharan conscripts could have brought the disease with them, and if your 2xGGF was working with or around them, then could quite easily have caught it from one of them

He served in Tanzania, as it says on a record that my great grandad had. Before he was demoted, he was a sergeant rifleman. 

After finding many records of him serving in Belgium and France, I started to doubt he was even in Africa. However my family are sure he was, as he used to tell storied about his time in East Africa 

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On 14/03/2021 at 14:02, BradleyWalker said:

He served in Tanzania, as it says on a record that my great grandad had.

 

The 1st Armoured Motor Battery of the Machine Gun Corps (Motor Machine Gun Corps) was deployed to the East African Campaign, as was 259 Company MGC, as well as other MG Companies in the Indian Army. 

 

Presumably your great grandad had his pay book or discharge documents, though the latter would probably refer to the base in the UK

 

We have positively identified him as Pte. 14646 Frederick John Hunt, formerly 11652 East Surrey Regiment.

His service record has not survived.

We know for certain from the Silver War Badge Rolls he enlisted 23 August 1915 and was discharged as a result of a wound on the 16th December 1918, aged 24 years and 1 month.

We know he was serving with the 9th Bn MGC when wounded in 1918, a wound that led to his discharge.

 

I have now found another fragment on FMP  headed 'Casualties No 2 District' which shows he was admitted (somewhere) on the 18th August 1917 suffering from malaria.  His unit is listed as M.M. Corps, which I read as Motor Machine Gun Corps (elsewhere on the list Machine Gun Corps men are listed as 'MGCorps').

 

The service record of one of the men on the list admitted to hospital  the week before on the 11th August, Pte 93825 H.W. Cooper has survived. A telegraphist he enlisted 2nd June 1915 in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

 

His record shows he embarked for South Africa on the 8th May 1916.  He left the Base at Durban in August 1916 and was eventually transferred to 259 MG Company in February 1917 at Kilwa Kisiwani,  Tanzania. I'm struggling to read the hospital he was admitted to in August 1917 but I think it was Wynberg (Cape Town) South Africa, having been evacuated from the East Africa theatre of war.  He returned to Dar-es Salaam, from where he was evacuated in December 1917 with his unit  on the 'H.T. INGOMA'. 

He arrived back in the UK (Devonport) on 30th January 1918 he then went on to serve at the MG Training School. 

 

One of the other men on the list 93875 Hunter admitted on the 21 August was also in 259 Company, evacuated as above and posted to the BEF on the 3 October 1918.

 

Whilst there is a caveat in reading too much into other service records if Pte Hunt followed a similar route back to the UK following his hospitalisation for malaria it allows plenty of time for him to be to be posted to the 9th Battalion MGC in France and his subsequent wounding.

 

Interestingly Cooper and Hunter went to East Africa via India which may explain some of the gaps in Pte. Hunt's service as India was not a theatre of war.  TF Units of the East Surrey Regiment had been in India since 1914, so there would have been a base there.

 

The question that remains is which Company or Battery he served with in East Africa. One soldier who served with with the MMGC in East Africa has left a brief memoir in which he recalled he joined because he was a keen motor cyclist and they were required in the campaign.  On the other hand Pte Cooper was a telegraphist before the war, perhaps they were posting men with specialist skills?

 

I've been unable to find an order of battle for the East Africa campaign and frankly, I'm feeling my way. 

Forum member DavidMurdoch is the MMG specialist we also have members who have studied the East Africa Campaign in depth, forum member bushfighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BradleyWalker
21 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

 

The 1st Armoured Motor Battery of the Machine Gun Corps (Motor Machine Gun Corps) was deployed to the East African Campaign, as was 259 Company MGC, as well as other MG Companies in the Indian Army. 

 

Presumably your great grandad had his pay book or discharge documents, though the latter would probably refer to the base in the UK

 

We have positively identified him as Pte. 14646 Frederick John Hunt, formerly 11652 East Surrey Regiment.

His service record has not survived.

We know for certain from the Silver War Badge Rolls he enlisted 23 August 1915 and was discharged as a result of a wound on the 16th December 1918, aged 24 years and 1 month.

We know he was serving with the 9th Bn MGC when wounded in 1918, a wound that led to his discharge.

 

I have now found another fragment on FMP  headed 'Casualties No 2 District' which shows he was admitted (somewhere) on the 18th August 1917 suffering from malaria.  His unit is listed as M.M. Corps, which I read as Motor Machine Gun Corps (elsewhere on the list Machine Gun Corps men are listed as 'MGCorps').

 

The service record of one of the men on the list admitted to hospital  the week before on the 11th August, Pte 93825 H.W. Cooper has survived. A telegraphist he enlisted 2nd June 1915 in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

 

His record shows he embarked for South Africa on the 8th May 1916.  He left the Base at Durban in August 1916 and was eventually transferred to 259 MG Company in February 1917 at Kilwa Kisiwani,  Tanzania. I'm struggling to read the hospital he was admitted to in August 1917 but I think it was Wynberg (Cape Town) South Africa, having been evacuated from the East Africa theatre of war.  He returned to Dar-es Salaam, from where he was evacuated in December 1917 with his unit  on the 'H.T. INGOMA'. 

He arrived back in the UK (Devonport) on 30th January 1918 he then went on to serve at the MG Training School. 

 

One of the other men on the list 93875 Hunter admitted on the 21 August was also in 259 Company, evacuated as above and posted to the BEF on the 3 October 1918.

 

Whilst there is a caveat in reading too much into other service records if Pte Hunt followed a similar route back to the UK following his hospitalisation for malaria it allows plenty of time for him to be to be posted to the 9th Battalion MGC in France and his subsequent wounding.

 

Interestingly Cooper and Hunter went to East Africa via India which may explain some of the gaps in Pte. Hunt's service as India was not a theatre of war.  TF Units of the East Surrey Regiment had been in India since 1914, so there would have been a base there.

 

The question that remains is which Company or Battery he served with in East Africa. One soldier who served with with the MMGC in East Africa has left a brief memoir in which he recalled he joined because he was a keen motor cyclist and they were required in the campaign.  On the other hand Pte Cooper was a telegraphist before the war, perhaps they were posting men with specialist skills?

 

I've been unable to find an order of battle for the East Africa campaign and frankly, I'm feeling my way. 

Forum member DavidMurdoch is the MMG specialist we also have members who have studied the East Africa Campaign in depth, forum member bushfighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for this. After hearing about his time in Europe, I thought of his service in East Africa as being a bit of a mystery, but now I have a rough idea. 

Thank you for finding out that he went to hospital with malaria, he did suffer from reoccurring bouts. 

My Great grandad did have his discharge certificate and records, which my great aunt now has, so will try to get a copy of that.

 

Many thanks

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Bradley,

 

I also had two relatives with the surname Hunt who served in the East Surrey regiment, they had a brother called Frederick Charles Hunt, possibly relations to your Frederick, do you know where he lived when he enlisted?

 

 

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BradleyWalker
10 minutes ago, sr97 said:

Hi Bradley,

 

I also had two relatives with the surname Hunt who served in the East Surrey regiment, they had a brother called Frederick Charles Hunt, possibly relations to your Frederick, do you know where he lived when he enlisted?

 

 

Hello,

Frederick lived in Surbiton at the time of his enlistment. He later moved to Redhill, Surrey. 

His parents were called Thomas and Louisa Hunt.

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Ah I see my Hunts come from Chertsey, about a 30 minute drive away so unsure now but funnily enough they had an uncle Thomas, not sure about his wife though as I'm still researching the family. Great to know there was a few Hunts in the Regiment all the same.

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BradleyWalker
18 hours ago, sr97 said:

Ah I see my Hunts come from Chertsey, about a 30 minute drive away so unsure now but funnily enough they had an uncle Thomas, not sure about his wife though as I'm still researching the family. Great to know there was a few Hunts in the Regiment all the same.

Thomas Hunt's father is Thomas Edward Hunt, perhaps we are related through him. 

Thomas was a name used consistently throughout the Hunt family.

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