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2232: Giggleswick and the Royal Flying Corps

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posted on 2024-01-16, 13:47 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

My great-uncle, known to the family as Freddie, was born in 1898 in Long Preston to Charlotte and George Hunter. The 1901 census shows him living in Bingley with his mother, elder sister Mary, and their grandparents. His father George was at the time, I think, trying to make his fortune as a wheeler-dealer in London.

He attended Giggleswick School, and appears on their war memorial.

He next shows up aged 12 on the 1911 census with the whole family in a hotel in Folkestone, presumably on holiday.

He seems to have joined up in 1916, straight from school, and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a cadet on January 26th 1917. On March 25th 1917 he became a Flying Officer with the rank of Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.

The next news we have is that he relinquished his commission due to ill health on June 12th 1918, and was made Lieutenant. Clearly his accident occurred between March 1917 and June 1918. He was a paraplegic as a result of the accident, and the photos we have of him show him in a wheelchair. He attended my grandparents’ wedding at the Carlton Hotel London in September 1918 (see photo).

He died on 23rd February 1921 and was buried in God’s Acre cemetery, Menston on 25th February 1921. His grave is listed as a war grave by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The last known address for his parents was The Hawthorns, Bradford Road, Menston. My father remembered visiting them at this address during the Second World War.

History

Name of contributor(s)

Pauline Harrowell, great niece

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

George Thomas Hunter

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

1916 - 1921

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

England

Object(s)

Photos of George Hunter before and after his accident; at his sister's wedding; Giggleswick School War Memorial; writing case.

Community Collection Day

St. John's Parish Room, Menston, Ilkley (03/11/18)

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