George Webster HUNTER

Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1st 5th Btn.  

Rank & Number:     
Private, 7346  

12 October 1895; Springbank, Fairlie  

                        27 September 1915; Alexandria Hospital, Egypt  

Buried Alexandria Military Cemetery
                                Brother of Baden, Dunlop and Leslie Hunter  

was born 12 Oct 1895 at Springbank, Fairlie, to parents William James Dunlop Hunter, a shoemaker, and Elizabeth McAdam Webster (who married in Largs on 15 Mar 1889).  He died, aged 19, on 27 Sep 1915 in Alexandria Hospital, Egypt after suffering from dysentery, and is buried at Alexandria (Chatby) Military & War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.  He is commemorated on Fairlie War Memorial.  

On 20 Apr 1915 at 19 Howard Street, Glasgow, George (aged19, gardener/Private 1st 5th Btn. RSF) married Jean Davidson by declaration.  Prior to the war, he was a gardener at Fairlieburne.  

In the 1901 Census, George, aged 5, is living Oak Bank, Fairlie, with parents Wm. JG Hunter (34, shoemaker, b. England) and wife Eliz. Mca. Hunter (30, b. England) and siblings Dunlop (2, b. Fairlie), Eliz P (4, b. Fairlie) and Baden (10m, b. Fairlie)  

In the 1911 Census, aged 15, he is living Oakbank, Fairlie with parents Dunlop (44, bootmaker) and Elizabeth (40, married 22 years, 13 children/12 living) and siblings Elizabeth (14), Dunlop (12), Baden(10), Jessie (9), Thomas (8), Harry (6), David (5), Arthur (3), David (1)    


Named in the Largs & Millport Weekly News Roll of Honour printed 21 Nov 1914 and the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald Roll of Honour printed in Dec 1914 (Hunter, Pte. George W., Oak Bank, Fairlie, RSF), his medal index card shows first theatre of war entered was Balkans on 6 Jun 1915.  The Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that he’d been stationed at Stirling for training, and had travelled south for embarkation on the troop train involved in the Gretna rail disaster on 22 May 1915 (where 227 died and 247 were injured).  Little more than three months after his arrival at Gallipoli, he fell dangerously ill with dysentery, to which he succumbed on 27 Sep 1915.  Shortly thereafter the Cigarette and Tobacco Fund received a letter from a Sergeant Findlay acknowledging receipt of a parcel sent to Private Hunter, saying how much liked he was, not only in his platoon, but by the whole company, and expressing their deep sorrow at his death.  Received the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory medals.

Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

14 November 1914     

Private George Hunter was home on furlough this week and is full of enthusiasm for the army, and especially for his regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers.  One of the lads who left the village with him, Charlie Grant, has been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.  

2 October 1915          
Mr. Dunlop Hunter on Wednesday evening received a cable from Alexandria stating that his son Private George Hunter, Royal Scots Fusiliers, was lying there dangerously ill with dysentery.  We hope that better news of our gallant young friend will soon be to hand.  

9 October 1915
The Toll Of War; Death Of A Fairlie Soldier:  The war has claimed another local victim in the person of Private George W. Hunter, of the 1/5th Royal Scots Fusiliers, who died of dysentery in a hospital at Alexandria on Monday last week.   
Private Hunter, who was only 20 years of age, was the second son of Mr. Dunlop Hunter, and joined the Fusiliers at the outbreak of the war.  He was stationed at Stirling for training till the end of May last, when he with other drafts of his battalion were sent off.  We understand they travelled south to the port of embarkation in the ill-fated train which met disaster at Gretna, when so many of the Royal Scots lost their lives.  The draft sailed for the Dardanelles on the Mauritania, and have been practically continually in the fighting line ever since they landed.  Private Hunter was in the great battle of the 12th July, when the captain and lieutenant of his company were killed, and about half the company killed and wounded.  His last letter home was dated 30th August, when he stated that he had been in the trenches for nearly three weeks.  He fell a victim to the scourge of the trenches in the Turkish campaign, dysentery, and was removed to hospital, where he succumbed.  Private Hunter was married, and the deepest sympathy of the village goes out to his young widow and child and to Mr. and Mrs Dunlop Hunter and the family.  Private Hunter was amongst the very first of the Fairlie young men to respond to the call to arms, and threw himself heart and soul into the work of getting fit for the fighting line.  Previous to joining he was engaged as a gardener at Fairlieburne, and was highly esteemed by the whole community  

18 December 1915     
Fairlie Cigarette And Tobacco Fund: A pathetic letter was one received from Sergt. Findlay acknowledging a parcel sent to the late Pte. Geo. Hunter, and saying how much liked he was, not only in his platoon, but by the whole company; and also expressing their deep sorrow at his death.  

30 September 1916  
In Memoriam:  Hunter – In loving memory of our dear son, Private George Hunter, R.S.F., who died at Alexandria of dysentery, 27th September, 1916, in his 20th year:    Sorrow vanquished; labour ended; Jordan passed. Inserted by his father and mother, Oakbank, Fairlie  

20 September 1917    
In Memoriam: Hunter – In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. George W. Hunter, who died at the General Hospital, Alexandria, 27 September 1915. Oakbank house, Fairlie.  

22 December 1917     
A nice photograph of the grave of Private George Hunter, R.S.F., son of Mrs Dunlop Hunter, who died of dysentery early in the war and was buried at Chatby Military Cemetery, Alexandria, has just been sent home by Gunner John McLachlan, R.F.A., who recently visited his old chum’s grave and took the photograph.  

28 September 1918
In Memoriam:  Hunter – In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. George W. Hunter, R.S.F., who died at General Hospital, Alexandria, September 27 1915. - inserted by his parents, Oakbank, Fairlie.  

28 September 1918    

In Memoriam:  Hunter – In loving memory of Pte. George Hunter, R.S.F., who died at Alexandria, Egypt on 27 September 1915, aged 20 years:    We do not know what pain he bore, We did not see him die.    We only know that he passed on, And could not say goodbye.    He never shunned his country’s call, But gladly gave his life, his all.    He died the helpless to defend, A British soldier’s noble end Inserted by his chum, William G. Ramsay, on active service, R.G.A.  

27 September 1919
In Memoriam: Hunter – In loving memory of our dear son George Hunter who died of dysentery at Alexandria, 27th September 1915:    Today recalls sad memories of a loved one gone to rest - inserted by his mother, father, sisters and brothers, Oakbank, Fairlie.  

2 October 1920
In Memoriam: Hunter - In loving memory of our dear son George W. Hunter, 1-5th R.S.F., who died of dysentery in Alexandria Hospital, 27 September, 1915.  Inserted by his father and mother, Oakbank, Fairlie.  

Image courtesy Largs & Millport Weekly News

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