Voices from the Past

Brigadier Frank Leslie Hunt OBE

Three generations of Brig Frank Leslie Hunt’s family in front of his story.

By Alison Jones

Three future generations of Brigadier Frank Leslie Hunt came to view his story recently in the latest Gallipoli exhibition “Ripping Yarns from the Peninsula“.

Brig Hunt was a career soldier and his service with the New Zealand Army would span some 30 plus years – seeing active service during both World War One and later World War Two, eventually retiring from the Army in 1949.

The tale of Brig Frank Leslie Hunt OBE, is one of twenty stories being told in the current display in the Hassett Gallery at the National Army Museum.

Frank’s son John Hunt and his wife Margaret, together with their daughter Dayle Anderson and Dayle’s daughter Lucy, who was in New Zealand on a visit from her home and career in Germany, where she is a flutist with the Frankfurt Chamber Orchestra, all visited last month to see Frank’s story and personal artefacts.

Lucy has not seen her Great Grandfather’s medals and other memorabilia since a very small child and reading Frank’s story “brought his memory alive” for her.

Dayle, with a tear in her eye, remarked, “what he (and others) went through for us to be here today.”

Reading a  section from Frank’s story panel in the exhibition which said:

“Lieutenant Colonel Charles Thomas, family friend, and commander of the NZ Mounted Field Ambulance has been told of Frank’s death and wanted to view the body to advise Frank’s parents, so as he passed the bodies, he saw Frank’s foot twitch and ordered for him to be pulled from the pile and receive medical attention.”

On reading this, John remarked “I remember Dad telling me that story. Lt Col Thomas – we owe him a debt of gratitude for seeing that twitching foot.”

The National Army Museum is delighted to hold over 100 items from Brigadier Frank Leslie Hunt OBE. Donated by his family over the years, it is one of the largest individual collections from one soldier.