James Beech "Red" Hunt

May 8, 1889

Born in Palmerston, Ontario to John Wilbor and Mary Jane (nee Donnelly) Hunt


Feb 21, 1915

Shown on the payroll of the 45th Victoria Regiment in Lindsay, Ontario


Mar 5, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Lindsay, Ontario


Ø  Number 59488 (temporary number 1368)

Ø  Next of kin given as Mary Jane Hunt, mother, Palmerston, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Electrician

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to “A” Company

James Hunt lied about his age on attesting.  He stated he was born May 8, 1887, not his actual birth year of 1889. 

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.


May 6, 1915

Posted to the Depot Company

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Jun 10, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days detention and forfeited 4 days pay for being AWL (Absent Without Leave)


Jun 12, 1915

Sentenced to 1 Month Confinement with Hard Labour in Civil Court for Theft.  Sentence to be served in civil jail



 Courtesy of Marian Rashleigh

Jul 11, 1915

Released from civilian jail


Jul 19, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days Detention for Misconduct


Aug 23, 1915

Declared to be absent


Aug 29, 1915

Returned to duty and sentenced to 14 days Detention, forfeiture of 7 days pay and restricted to half pay for 3 months for being absent


Sep 9, 1915

Posted to “C” Company


Sep 12, 1915

Forfeited 1 day’s pay and placed in detention until the battalion leaves for France


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Oct 15, 1915

Sentenced to 7 days Field Punishment No. 2 for being absent from both morning and afternoon parades in La Clytte, Belgium.  The afternoon parade was forming up in order to proceed into the front line trench


Dec 28, 1915

Sentenced to 21 days Field Punishment No. 1 for

Ø  Being absent for 3 days

Ø  Returning from being absent without his kit

Ø  Being in possession of a Lee Enfield rifle


Dec 30, 1915

While serving his field punishment, he was placed under close arrest to await Court Martial for threatening a superior officer


Jan 1, 1916

Attached to the 250th Tunnelling Company for duty


Jan 20, 1916

Ceased to be attached to the tunnelling company

He never actually joined the tunnelling company as he was in custody awaiting trial the entire time of the attachment


Jan 29, 1916

Tried by Field General Court Martial on the charge of threatening a superior officer.  He was found Guilty and sentenced to 3 months in Detention with Hard Labour.  On review, this sentence was reduced to 3 months Field Punishment No. 1


Mar 3, 1916

While serving his sentence of field punishment, Private Hunt was placed under close arrest again after causing a disturbance


Mar 20, 1916

Private Hunt was tried by Field General Court Martial at La Clytte, Belgium charged with

Ø  Stealing the rum ration

Ø  Having the stolen rum ration in his possession

Ø  Being drunk

Ø  Striking his superior officer

Ø  Threatening to kill his superior officer

After testimony was given, Private Hunt was sentenced to 2 years in confinement with Hard Labour.

On review, this sentence was reduced to 1 year in confinement with Hard Labour


Apr 9, 1916

On further review, his sentence of 1 year in confinement with hard labour was reduced to 3 months Field Punishment No. 1


May 12, 1916

While out at night on a work party laying barbed wire, the group was surprised by a German patrol and Private Hunt scrambled back into his trench for safety but in his haste, he landed on another man’s bayonet that penetrated his abdomen.  During the confusion, the German artillery opened up with a barrage, and Private Hunt was further wounded in his right hand by shrapnel.  He was evacuated to an Australian field ambulance for first aid.


May 13, 1916

Transferred to the No. 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) before being transported via the No.  AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Etaples, France


May 20, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Dieppe


On arrival in England he was admitted to the City of London Military Hospital in Clapton

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


Jun 7, 1916

Transferred to the Hammersmith Military Hospital in Shepherd’s Bush, London


Jun 23, 1916

Discharged from hospital


Jun 24, 1916

Medical Board in Folkestone recommends 8 weeks of Base Duty


Jun 26, 1916

Attached to the 34th Battalion in West Sandling for light duties


Jul 1, 1916

Sentenced to 3 days Field Punishment No. 2 for being absent for 3 days


Jul 6, 1916

Attached to the 36th Battalion at West Sandling for light duties


Nov 10, 1916

Medical Board at West Sandling recommends 4 weeks of Physical Training and light duties


Dec 9, 1916

Ceased to be attached and reported to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre


Dec 17, 1916

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford


Feb 6, 1917

Transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre


Feb 9, 1917

Attached to the CGDD (Canadian Garrison Duty Depot)


Feb 17, 1917

Attached to the APM (Assistant Provost Martial) for duty


Apr 6, 1917

Ceased to be attached to the garrison duty depot and transferred to the Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot in Seaford


May 2, 1917

Transferred to the CFC (Canadian Forestry Corps) in Sunningdale


May 11, 1917

Attached to the CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) in Buxton pending return to Canada


May 12, 1917

Embarked the SS Olympic in Liverpool



May 21, 1917

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Quebec City, Quebec


May 26, 1917

Medical Board in Quebec City, Quebec makes note of his previous wounds but notes there is no disability

Transportation provided to Toronto, Ontario


Aug 23, 1917

Medical Board at Camp Borden, Ontario notes

Ø  Patient complains of abdominal pain and weakness

Ø  Has involuntary movements

Ø  If exposed to sudden unexpected noise he loses control of anal sphincter and passes feces involuntarily

Ø  Abdominal pain is a result of his bayonet wound and considered to be a permanent condition

Ø  His nervousness is considered to be temporary and should clear up within 1 year

Ø  Board recommends that he be discharged from military service as medically unfit


Sep 30, 1917

Forfeited 10 day’s pay for being absent


Oct 31, 1917

Discharged from the CEF in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  Entitled to War Service Badge Class “A”

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Palmerston, Ontario

Following the end of the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at 26 Suffolk St., Toronto, Ontario

James Hunt was employed with the Dominion Police service following his discharge.  It is ironic that given his record of being AWL many times while serving, he was given the task of searching for others who were AWL or actual Deserters.




Mar 28, 1941

James Beech Hunt died of a heart attack at his home, 456 Logan Ave., Toronto, Ontario and was buried in the Prospect Cemetery, Toronto



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