Lt William Frederick Hunt

I cannot tell if Hunt was shot because he had been a DI with B Coy earlier, or whether it was a "pick an Auxiliary at random" killing. Given that he had resigned from his DI3 job in Feb 1921 and was a mere T/Cadet when shot in June 1921, it is perhaps significant that when they shot him, one of the killers said "You are dead DI Hunt". The witness Statements do not throw any more light on it, as they are just by the men ordered to kill "DI Hunt"

1881 census His parents are living in 91, Sotheron Rd, Watford

1886 Jan 4. Born Watford

1886 Mar 5 Christened son of Thomas Hunt and Emily Sophia Bird at Oxhey, Hertfordshire

1888 May/Jun. His father Thomas William Hunt dies age 28 in Watford

1891 census His mother is a widow living alone at 44, Sutton Road, Watford. And young William has been deposited with his aunt, and is still there in 1901.

1901 census living with his aunt at 15, Aldenham Road, Bushey Urban, New Bushey and he is a "General Labourer"

1910 Jul/Sep census Married Alice Mary Sibley at Watford.

1911 census Living in 36 Thornton St, Watford and working for Herts Constabulary.

1915 Enlisted in the ranks, RE

1916 Sep 30. Landed in France with RE

1917 Aug 28 Commissioned into Inniskilling Fusiliers

1920 Aug 6. Joined with RIC no 72296, ADRIC no 104. He became a 3rd Class District Inspector and Intelligence Officer with B Coy in Templemore Abbey, Tipperary. He appears to have been condemned by the IRA for being "aggressive" as an Intelligence Officer and sentenced to death. There is an unsubstantiated report that he was shot by Jim Stapleon and James Murphy

1920 Nov 24 to 2 Dec 1920. He was 2nd in Command of B Coy. Seems like a very short time, but that is in Numeric Register

1921 Feb 5 Posted to Depot . He relinquished the rank of Platoon Commander at his own request and reverted to T/Cadet. Odd thing is that E Whur reverted from DI3 on same day and was also posted to Depot

1921 Mar 21. Posted to C Coy

1921 Apr 2. Moved to Q Coy.

1921 May 28. Posted to Depot

1921 Jun 11. Posted to R Coy

1921 Jun 26. Shot while having tea with his wife and E W White and his wife in the hotel where the women were lodging, the Mayfair Hotel in 30 Lower Baggot St. E W White was injured in the attack. I think the hotel was owned by a Capt. Walter Doyle-Kelly

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30 Lower Baggot St, Dublin

While they were having tea in the hotel dining room at 7pm, there was a knock at the door. When the door was opened, a group of 4 IRA men rushed in and shot both of them - Hunt died on the spot, White was wounded.

The inquest showed that he had 3 bullet wounds

30 Lower Baggot St in Thoms Directory is listed as a house (rather than a hotel) and is owned by a Capt. Walter Doyle-Kelly and also 52 Lower Baggot Street is shown as owned by a Mrs Doyle Kelly and run as the Grand Southern Hotel. Doyle-Kelly introduced the hyphening into his name, probably in WW1.

The IRA men involved were Paddy O'Connor and Michael Stack, Peter Larkin and O'Toole . (Paddy O'Connor and Jim McGuiness later attack a cricket match in Trinity involving the Army but only casualty is a girl spectator.) The three differing Witness Statements show how difficult it is to be sure of their veracity.

WS813 from Paddy O'Connor. A G.H.Q. Intelligence report gave information that two Auxiliary Officers were in the habit of having tea in the Mayfair Hotel in Baggot Street and instructions were issued to eliminate them. The Intelligence Officer was Paddy Drury and he was in touch with one of the maids in the place. I assembled the Section to do that job in Leinster Lawn on the evening of the 26th June, 1921. Drury contacted the maid and he came back with a full description of the men and where they were. I issued instructions to the party and we proceeded to the Mayfair Hotel. It had been arranged with the maid that I should give four rings on the bell and a knock, and in this way she would know it coming. I did this and she answered the door and told me the room in which the Auxiliaries were. The party divided as I had instructed them to do. We entered the room where the Auxiliaries were seated at tea with their wives and children. They jumped to their feet and, as they did so, we opened fire and shot the two. . We got away all right but we were pursued by an armoured car. The car we had set to take us away broke down as we were about to enter it so we retired on foot on towards Hones Street. As we turned into Holles Street the armoured car turned in from a back Street in pursuit of the party but we succeeded in escaping. It seems the wives of the shot Auxiliaries rushed into the street and attracted the attention of a British armoured car which was passing at the time. Evidently its crew must have spotted us as it wheeled round and pursued us. However, we got safely away

WS628 from James Tully . In June 1921, we were detailed to shoot two auxiliaries who were staying in the Mayfair Hotel, Baggot Street. The party consisted of Paddy O'Connor who was in charge, Michael Stack, Peter Larkin, Jack Hanlon, Jim O'Neill, and myself. My job was to dismantle the telephone. At about 6,30 on a Sunday evening we entered the Hotel. The two auxiliaries with two women and a child were in a room. O'Connor, Stack, Larkin and O'Toole [note, WS has an inconsistency here] pushed open the door of the room and fired, killing the two auxiliaries. O'Connor took their guns. O'Neill was to have had a car running in Fitzwilliam Street to take the guns away. When I came out I put my gun in the car. O'Neill could not get the car started so it had to be abandoned and I lost my gun. The others, living in the area, had taken their guns with them

WS 525. Michael Stack. Padraig O'Connor selected a few of us and told me that we were being chosen to carry out an execution of two Auxiliary officers who were staying at the Mayfair Hotel in Baggot Street. Six of us assembled at the Museum at about 3 p.m. No sooner had we assembled when Frank Saurin came along and I heard him say that the maid in the hotel to which we were going was friendly and would give us all the help we required, adding that the Auxiliaries were then in the hotel. We moved off straight away. The section leader and myself were the first to go to the door which was answered by the maid. We asked her what room the Auxiliaries were in and she told us the second room on the left where they were then having lunch. I asked her where the telephone was and she directed me to it, so I told a member of the section to dismantle it. The section leader and myself opened the door of the dining-room and fired at the two Auxiliaries seated at the table with their families, the section leader taking the left-hand man and I taking the man on the right. Both men collapsed on to the floor where they were then approached by the Section leader who searched them for any documents that may have been of use to us. I think their names were Hunt and White. On leaving the dining-room, I was about to re-load my gun and as two rounds had been extracted from it, I remained looking at the empty gun. On seeing me, the section leader said, "What are you going to do now?". I replied, "I am after losing two rounds of ammunition". So he asked did I want him to find them for me. I said, "I have only four left now if I lose these two". So he said that we'd have to lift the sideboard out from the wall to retrieve the two rounds, which we did. This incident may have saved us from walking into a trap for, as we left the hotel, two tenders had just passed in the direction of Stephen's Green. We walked out and down through the tram line in Holles Street and got back into College Green where we took a tram to O'Neill's of Francis Street where we dumped our guns

Mrs Hunt gave evidence at the inquest. It appears that they were after Hunt in particular and for a reason. There could be an implication that either Appleford or Warnes was the other one who had been killed, given that they were shot 2 days before in Grafton St (probably by Kelliher and Rigney). Hunt had been a DI as Platoon Commander, but had for some reason resigned at his own request.

1921 Jun 26 John Nolan picked up and identified by Mrs Hunt as one of the murderers.

1921 Widow's pension

1921 Oct 8. Probate granted to his widow

Temporary Cadet William Frederick Hunt's widow eventually received two pensions for her dead husband.  Hunt had previously served as a policeman in England, before joining the ADRIC, and a loophole in the appropriate legislation left his widow eligible for a pension from both forces. Civil servants tried to find some way out of this obligation-one of them described it as "absurd"--but eventually they conceded they would have to pay.

The compensation court in Dublin awarded £1200 to Mrs Hunt and £1500 to the child.

1926 His widow re-married to David T Parrott in St Albans

1934 March. There is an poignant aftermath in an Appeal Court hearing

ADRIC

 

WILLIAM FREDERICK HUNT, After the war in 1920, he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary and died a year later in Dublin. He left a widow and a young daughter, Doris, who may still be alive. Is anyone related to Mr Hunt and do any photographs exist of him? B Attwood, from Te Kopuru, New Zealand, on 09 4391502.