|1. Memorial:||Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Flanders|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.126|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||13B GQS|
Awards & Titles:
Family :Son of Edward and Anne Cunningham Hunter, of Wentworth, Gosforth, Northumberland. Stockbroker.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit / Ship / Est.: 1/6 Northumberland Fusiliers|
1/6th Battalion August 1914 : in St George's Drill Hall, Newcastle. Part of Northumberland Brigade, Northumbrian Division. April 1915 : landed in France. May 1915 : became 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, in France. 15 July 1918 : reduced to cadre strength and transferred to Lines of Communication. 16 August 1918 : transferred to 118th Brigade, 39th Division. 10 November 1918 : disbanded in France.
|Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres)|
22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.
The loss of the Hunter family on the 26th April 1915, losing two sons and the fiance of a daughter is almost beyond belief. George, 28, Captain commanding C Company, and Howard Hunter, 26, Captain commanding D Company, 1/6th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers. Sons of Edward and Anne Cunningham Hunter, of Wentworth, Gosforth, Northumberland. Lt A. R. Garton of the same battalion, the fiance of their sister, also lost his life on this day. None have a known grave, and all are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, Ypres. Captain George Edward Hunter became an architect on leaving school. Later he joined his father's firm, and in 1913 became a partner in the business of Hunter & Henderson, Stockbrokers of Newcastle. He received his commission in the 6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in 1904 and was gazetted Captain in 1908. He went overseas with that battalion, and was killed in action near St Julien in the second battle of Ypres, April 26th, 1915. A brother officer writes: 'He led his men with great courage and a total disregard for himself, and was right in front of the enemy's position when he was killed by a shell fired at short range'. Captain Howard Tomlin Hunter became a medical student on leaving school. He qualified for the M.B., B.S., in 1910, and afterwards studied surgery at St Bartholomew's, London, and in Vienna. He received his commission in the 6th Batt. Northumberland Fusiliers in 1906 and was gazetted Captain in 1912. A writer in the Durham College of Medicine Gazette says: 'We have all heard with pride and aching heart of his entry into action. The first torrent of bullet and shell only seemed to increase his absolute indifference to danger, and his example and courage infected the whole company. He led his men through a crossfire of machine-guns and shrapnel, trying to reach the German trenches by a series of rushes. When close to his objective he was struck on the leg but stuck to his job, gamely cheering on his men. We can imagine his bitter disappointment when he had to fall out so near the end of his task. While being helped to the rear he was struck again in the chest and almost immediately dropped dead'. This was in the action near St Julien on April 26th, 1915, at the second battle of Ypres. Captain George Edward HUNTER Northumberland Fusiliers 6th Battalion (Territorial) The son of Edward and Anne Cunningham Hunter of Wentworth, Gosforth, Northumberland he was Initiated on the 7th March 1911; Passed 3rd October 1911 and Raised on the 7th November 1911. He was appointed Inner Guard in 1912; Junior Deacon 1913 and Senior Deacon in 1914. He was killed in action during the second battle of Ypres on the 26th April, 1915 aged 28 and is Remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium, Panel 8 and 12. Following his death being recorded in the Lodge Minutes a letter from his father was received by the Lodge 'I am most grateful to the Northumberland Lodge for the kind sympathy in our great grief. Our only consolation is the kindness we have received from our friends and the knowledge that our boys did their duty'. The Official History (1915 Vol I) describes the attack of the 149th (Northumberland) Brigade on 26th April as follows: The Northumberland Brigade fared even worse than the Lahore Division. Though the brigade was in reserve at Wieltje, Brig General JF Riddell did not receive General Alderson's orders to advance and participate in the attack at 1.20pm until ten minutes after that hour. Neither he nor his officers knew the ground and were unaware that the belt of wire entaglement of the GHQ line ran obliquely between them and St Julien. As the Indian division had already begun operations General Riddell decided in spite of the short notice, that he must not fail to co-operate. By 1.50pm his three battalions were on the move, without having time to load up extra ammunition, and with no more information as to what was required of them than the direction of the attack pointed out on a map. A quarter of an hour afterwards they reached the GHQ line. As they threaded their way through the passages in the wire they came under heavy fire but nevertheless managed to deploy:- 1/4 Btn on the right, 1/6 Btn on the left with 1/7 Btn in reserve. They advanced steadily over the practically flat ground in two lines in artillery formation, suffering heavily not only from the enemy barrage but also from machine guns in Kitchener's Wood against which no attack was proceeding. When about 2.45pm, the battalions reached the line of the 10th Brigade, with the 1/7 Btn already absorbed into the attack, the unit of the 10th Brigade that was to connect them with the attack of the Lahore Division was not to be seen. Brig General Hull of 10th Brigade had received his orders at 1.25pm (5 minutes after the attack started). Owing to heavy losses on the 25th April all his battalions were engaged in holding the line and telephone connection was broken, so he informed General Alderson it was impossible to comply. He personally went however to his left battalion 7/Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders and arranged for it to go forward as soon as the attack by the Lahore Division developed on Kitcheners Wood. This attack did not take place, but despite the lack of protection on its left flank the Northumberland Brigade (the first Territorials to go into action as a brigade) passed through the 10th Brigade line with the greatest dash and was met by machine gun fire from the houses. Without artillery support it could only advance a short distance beyond the British front line trenches. The task set the brigade had been impossible and its losses devastating. The brigade lost 42 officers and 1912 other ranks; over two thirds of its strength.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Northumberland No. 685 E.C.||Northumberland|
7th March 1911
3rd October 1911
7th November 1911
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley