Thomas James Hunt

First Name: 
Thomas
Middle Name: 
James
Last Name: 
Hunt
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, June 16, 1895
Mother's Name: 
Ellen Hunt (nee Broadbent)
Father's Name: 
George Charles Hunt
Date Enlisted: 
Wednesday, April 28, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
4th Battalion
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
1914/15 Star
Date of Death: 
Sunday, October 11, 1970
Place of Death: 
Concord Repratriation Hospital
Details: 

Thomas James Hunt (Service No 2169 : AND Service No 170071 - 2nd enlistment:) was born in Helensburgh, N.S.W. on 16th June, 1895, to George Charles Hunt (coal miner) and Ellen Broadbent. He had two brothers William (Bill) and Frank and two sisters Alice and Edith.

Thomas attended school at Helensburgh and after leaving school became a labourer. His religion was Church of England.

When the war started Thomas' brother, William Henry Hunt, enlisted, and he landed on Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915.

Thomas enlisted on 28th April, 1915 when he was 20 years old; he weighed 158 lbs and was 5 ft 8 inches tall, and listed his place of birth as Thirroul, N.S.W..

Thomas was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and embarked from Sydney, on HMAT A63 Karoola for active service overseas with his Unit, on his birthday, the 16th June, 1915 and, according to AIF records, having just turned 21. In reality, he had  just turned 20 years old.

Thomas served in Gallipoli while his brother Bill was also there. While in Gallipoli, Tom developed pleurisy and was returned to Australia from Suez on the 29th August, 1915, Australia on board the H T Euripides. He disembarked on 1st October, 1915 in Melbourne, his records stating he had: 'Debility after Pneumonia'.  Thomas was subsequently discharged from the AIF, medically unfit 'Debility after Pneumonia', on 8th January, 1916.

Tom really wanted to be part of the war effort so he re-enlisted 23rd February, 1916 at Victoria Barracks.  At this time Tom was living in Walker Street, Helensburgh, N.S.W., and his brother Frank was at this time living at Bulga Road, Helensburgh.

His records state he was 21 years old. He was attached to the 53rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement, and was assigned a different Service No: 170071. Tom was now serving at Bathurst Depot, and it was while he was there that his mother Ellen died on 19th April, 1916.

On 14th January, 1917 Tom had a medical check-up and was found to have an infection of the left and right lungs. He was advised to apply for a pension (3 Pounds per fortnight).  On 15th March, 1917, Tom was again declared medically unfit, but on 28th May, 1918 he was found to be fit for active service.

In June 1918, Tom learned his brother Frank had died of gassing while serving on the Western Front in France.

Determined to be part of this war he enlisted again, on 23 July, 1918. Tom was now 23 years and at this time living at Kingston, Thirroul, N.S.W., while his father, George, was living at School Hill, Thirroul.

In July Thomas was admitted to Hospital for 185 days, and finally discharged from hospital on 31st January, 1919. Thomas was discharged from the AIF at Sydney on 17th February, 1919.

After the war, work was scarce, so Tom and his brother Bill formed a song and dance team; they went on to work at the Tivoli in George Street, Sydney.

Later Tom married and had two sons.  He worked in advertising and was very successful. He and his brother Bill remained close throughout their lifetime.

Tom passed away in Concord Repatriation Hospital in 11th October, 1970 aged 75 years.

Thomas was my great uncle, my mother’s father’s brother.

Compiled by Mary Steenson (Mawson)

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, HUNT T J 2169
NAA: B2455, HUNT T J 17071

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