Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 25, 1878
Place of BirthStockport, Cheshire
CountryEngland
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Annie Eliza Hunt (wife), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFurniture salesman
ReligionWesleyan
Service Details
Regimental Number523523
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionNo. 16 Canadian General Hospital
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 2, 1915
Age at Enlistment37
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 29, 1972
Age at Death94
Buried AtForest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Burnaby

Hunt, Charles Harold

Private Charles Harold Hunt was 37 years old, married and the father of five children when he enlisted in August 1915. He served in Canada and Great Britain for three and a half years and returned home in March 1919.

Charles was born on 25 February 1878 in Stockport, Cheshire, England. His parents were William Hunt and Sarah Faulkner Cherrington Davis. William was a Wesleyan Methodist minister and he and his wife had 14 children. The family moved a lot over the years, living in Herefordshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Lancashire.

Charles was married on 2 August 1902 in Penge, Surrey, which is now part of Greater London. His wife, Annie Eliza Elliott, was born in London in 1884, the daughter of William and Mary Elliott. Charles and Annie’s first two children were born in England, Annie Doris Winifred in 1903 and Florence Lilian Mary in 1905. Around 1906 the family immigrated to Canada and the next two children were born in Saskatchewan, Ethel in 1907 and Harold in 1909 in the town of Melfort. By 1911 Charles and his wife were living in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba where he worked as a salesman. Annie’s parents were also living with them. Three children were born in Portage la Prairie, Maud in 1911 and twin boys in 1913. Sadly, their twins died as infants and their daughter Ethel died that same year, at age 6. Not long after that they moved to Kenora, Ontario and their youngest daughter, Rose, was born in Ontario in 1915.

Charles enlisted in Kenora on 2 August 1915, signing up with the No. 1 Field Ambulance Depot, ‘A’ Section. He went overseas in the 4th draft, embarking for England in late February 1916 on the SS Scandinavian and arriving on 13 March. For the next 17 months he served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, at their Training School and with their Reserve Depot. In November 1916 he spent about a week in Moore Barracks Hospital with myalgia, followed by five weeks of recovery at a convalescent centre.

From August 1917 to November 1918 Charles was posted to the Ontario Military Hospital, renamed No. 16 Canadian General. He was admitted there himself in mid-November 1918, just after the Armistice, suffering from a hernia. He was released on 31 January 1919 and he spent about six weeks with casualty companies. His final medical exam in England mentioned that he had flat feet as well as neurasthenia, the result of an air raid during his time in the hospital in 1916. Charles sailed for Canada on 18 March 1919 on the SS Minnekahda, arriving in Halifax ten days later. He was discharged at the end of the month in Winnipeg.

While Charles was serving overseas his wife had moved to Winnipeg. They separated and Charles returned to Kenora where he found work in a local furniture store. When the 1921 census was taken Annie was living in Winnipeg with their five surviving children. The household also included her son Victor, age 2, and her widowed mother, Mary Elliott. Victor and his twin brother Hubert were born in November 1918 and Hubert had died at age one.

Charles spent about two years working in New York before returning to Canada in the mid-1920s. He moved out west and settled in Vancouver, where he lived for the rest of his life. He collected a veteran’s pension due to his neurasthenia and the problem with his feet, and he worked at odd jobs when he was able. In his later years he became almost totally blind and he was cared for by his landlady.

Charles passed away in Shaughnessy Veterans Hospital on 29 April 1972, at age 94. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Burnaby. His ex-wife Annie had married her second husband, Robert Cairns, in 1933 in Winnipeg. After his death she moved to Vancouver, where her daughters Florence and Rose lived. She passed away there in July 1970 and she’s buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Winnipeg.

By Becky Johnson

Hunt-Charles-Harold-90 1916-02-26-crowd Hunt-Charles-Harold-91 Hunt-Charles-Harold-93

Grave marker photo and obituary courtesy of Mike Melen.


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