In Memoriam: Hans Frederick Hundt

Photograph of Hans Frederick Hundt.
Hans Frederick Hundt

Hans Frederick Hundt was killed in action, May 25th 1915. He served in the 1/23rd London Regiment. He was born in London in 1894 and attended Bootham between 1908 and 1910.

Mrs. Hundt sent some extracts from her son’s letters to ‘Bootham’ magazine:—

Somewhere in France, March 22nd.

We have moved twice since I last wrote. We had to march about 15 miles over dreadful roads, uneven cobbles, to a small village about 12 miles behind the firing line. We were billeted in a large farm, 38 of us, and had some excitement with the rats.

France, April 2nd.

Have done very well on this most unique birthday (21st). It is one I am not likely to forget in a hurry. Had heaps of parcels and good things. Yesterday we were medically examined after having a glorious shower bath. I passed through all right. We marched four miles, and used the baths for the miners.

France, April 8th, 1915.

We moved again yesterday about 4 miles nearer the firing line, and expect to be in the reserve trenches next week. I am in a large loft over a cowshed, have plenty of straw, and am quite comfortable. Can get plenty of eggs (cooked) at the Farm House, coffee, bread and butter, so am living like a lord.

April 12th.

It is very quiet here, and if it were not for the sound of the firing one would not realise that anything was on. Last night mounted sentry with one of the Regulars, did three spells; it was rather an experience. The German trenches are some 300 yards away, and the whole space between, is a mass of barbed wire entanglements. The fellows we are with are a very decent lot.

France, May 12th. (Last letter received.)

The next night we were relieved and marched back about 5 miles to a very pretty little place where we were billeted in a large hall place. There was a canal running through, so we managed to get a bathe. It was a treat, and we made the most of it. We marched some 6 miles further back yesterday to the same piece we were last before leaving for the trenches. I am in the same billet, and quite comfortable, have plenty of clean straw. Isn’t it dreadful about the Lusitania? They are simply barbarians! We had some of those pipes, through which they pump their poisonous gas, opposite our trenches last time, but am thankful to say they did not use it. We each had a piece of gauze and some bicarbonate of soda handy to dip it into should they have used it. I believe we are going to have twelve days’ rest; I hope so, for we can do with it. Terrific bombardments are going on, and there is no doubt big moves are being made.

In Memoriam: Leonard Percy I’Anson

Photograph of Leonard Percy I'Anson in uniform, photographer unknown.
Photograph from ‘Bootham’ magazine, June 1915, photographer unknown.

L. P. I’Anson, Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, was killed at St. Julien, near Ypres, on April 25th, 1915.

He was born in 1878 in Saltburn, and attended Bootham between 1893 and 1895. He was a solicitor, and was engaged to be married when he died.

He is included on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Oliver Bernard Ellis – Part 5 (R.N.A.S.)

This post continues from Part 4, and is part of a series for Explore Your Archives week.

Oliver Bernard Ellis left Bootham in 1916. The bene decessit in the magazine (a paragraph about each leaver) reads:

“O. B. Ellis excelled in all forms of athletics. He was a brilliant and daring gymnast, weathering all hurts. He was an able goal-keeper, where he obtained his 1st Masters’ colours, and, later, played at outside right. At cricket he obtained his 1st eleven colours. Last year he obtained the Silver Medal of the Life-Saving Society and served on the Athletics and Football Committees. Last year he tied for the Senior Athletics Cup, and helped to command the Fire Brigade. He was a wonderful practical photographer, and was very patient over his ornithological excursions with the camera. He was a curator of ornithology and the N.H. rooms, and two years ago obtained the Old Scholars’ Prize. He leaves from the Upper Senior, and was reeve [prefect].”

Group photograph of 1916 Leavers.
1916 Leavers photograph – Ellis is second from right, front row

Oliver joined the Royal Naval Air Service in July 1916, and by March 1917 he was in Dunkirk. Some of his letters home were published in ‘Bootham’ magazine, here are some extracts:

April 21st 1917: “The F.A.U. dentist who I went to the other day said, ‘Let me see, you’re the man who tried to whitewash the roof of some railway buildings in York, aren’t you?’ He was an Australian, but his assistant was a man I was at school with at Sidcot!”

April 24th 1917: “I saw a little owl tonight, and heard lots of patridges calling. It was simply a ripping evening, and I almost expected to see an old curlew flying over.”

May 3rd 1917: “somehow the quiet freshness of Warwickshire seems far more fascinating than ever it did before, and the thought of perfectly white flannels and a perfectly flat cricket ground seem to be things only to be found in heaven. I think I’m going to live in white flannels when I get home. Does anyone play tennis this year?…The chances are one in a hundred in our favour, and there we must leave it, having reduced it to that, and thank God that I’ve got the safest job in this war. Don’t worry about me, I’m having the time of my life and am enjoying myself hugely, and the war can’t last for ever.”

On May 20th 1917 he was reported missing. Then the news came that his plane had been shot down on May 19th, and he had been killed.

Photograph of Oliver Bernard Ellis in uniform.
The photograph from the In Memoriam for Oliver Bernard Ellis in ‘Bootham’ magazine.
In Volume VIII of ‘Bootham’ magazine, there were only 150 pages between Oliver’s Bene Decessit (on leaving) and his In Memoriam.

Here is his entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

After his death, his parents presented the school with the Oliver Ellis medal for athletics, in memory of their son.

Photograph of Oliver Ellis Medal
Oliver Ellis Medal

Note: I hope that this week has helped to show how stories can be pieced together in an archive. There is still scope for far more research on this story, and many others in the archive.

There is an enormous range of archives nationally, with diverse collections, and they contribute in all sorts of ways, including education, business, identity and democracy. I hope that you will be encouraged to explore your archive.

Some of the items that I used to piece together the story