Poppy In memoriam Poppy

2nd Lieutenant Johnston Shaw Kirker Hunter

 

 

 

Johnston Shaw Kirker Hunter was born on 14 November 1891 at Banbridge Road, Dromore, son of barrister and newspaper editor Robert John Hunter and his wife, school teacher Jane Hunter (nee Flack).

Before the war he had worked as a clerk in the Irish Land Commission, and also served in the Shanghai Customs Volunteers.

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 20 August 1914 (No.1020), serving in A Squadron's Maxim Gun section.

Between December 1914 and September 1915 he was disciplined at Antrim for three offences – twice absent from stables and once absent for five days.

During 1915 he was attached to the 36th (Ulster) Division's artillery, and in August applied for a commission. On 8 October 1915 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery (Special Reserve).

He was posted to the 163rd Brigade of the RFA in February 1916, arriving in France on 15 March. On 27 May he was posted to D Battery of the 157th Brigade.

At around the same time he applied to train as an observation officer in the Royal Flying Corps. However, preparations for the Somme offensive meant that these plans were cancelled. Hunter was serving with his battery when he was killed in action near Bethune on 30 June 1916.

Initially his family was told that he had been wounded. However on 13 July they received a telegram from the War Officer confirming his death.

2nd Lieutenant Hunter is buried at St Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L'Avoue, Pas de Calais, France, grave III.H.9. The grave inscription reads:

SECOND LIEUTENANT
J.S.K.HUNTER
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
30TH JUNE 1916 AGE 25

HE DID WHAT HE COULD
AND NOBLY FIGHTING
NOBLY FELL
THAT WE MIGHT LIVE

 

 

The Belfast News-Letter, 23 October 1915

The Belfast News-Letter, 5 July 1916

The Belfast News-Letter, 8 July 1916

 

First image of 2nd Lieutenant Hunter sourced from the South Dublin Library Service's Our Heroes site http://ourheroes.southdublinlibraries.ie/. Second image of Hunter from the Larne Times, July 1916, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).

Gravestone image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org.