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William Hunter was the son of James and Margaret Hunter, of 55, Coronation Street, North Shields, Northumberland.

On 4th January 1915, William sailed for France to reinforce the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

William deserted in September 1915, he apparently ‘lost heart at soldiering’. He remained on the run in France for the next two months before being arrested. He then managed to escape from custody, before finally being caught again in the following January. The subsequent court martial concluded that he was of little use as a fighting solider and should be shot*.

Details of the court proceedings can be found on the Blindfold and alone webiste here: CLICK

On 21st February 1916, William was shot at dawn for desertion. His medals were also forfeited.


William Hunter was buried in Maroc British cemetery.


Private William Hunter’s pole at the National Arboretum

Rank: Private
Service No: 10710
Date of Death: 21/02/1916
Age: 18
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

* Source: Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson:A Political Soldier: A Political Soldier By Keith Jeffery

Paul McCormick
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6 Responses to 10710 PTE. W. HUNTER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. admin says:

    I have learned that there is due to be play about William Hunter. For more information see http://www.tynemouthworldwarone.org/project.html

  2. Stephanie Wilson says:

    William Hunter was my great great great Uncle. Very pleased this has been documented here. Currently there is a North East play documenting his tragic case.

    • Kirsty Hunter Rush says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      He is also my Great, great, great Uncle. I know there are some in the family still fighting to get him pardoned.

  3. Roy says:

    And you should be very proud of him he was no coward or deserter just a vulnerable young boy that did not know what he was letting himself in for

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