Hugh Simpson SCHUNKE

Badge Number: S2964, Sub Branch: Mypolonga
S2964

SCHUNKE, Hugh Simpson

Service Number: 799
Enlisted: 29 February 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Wellington, South Australia , October 1895
Home Town: Monarto South, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Memorials: Langhorne Creek Brinkley District WW1 Roll of Honour, Langhorne Creek WW1 Roll of Honour, Monarto Pioneers Memorial Gates Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

29 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
9 Jul 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion
4 Jun 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Le Hamel - Blueprint for Victory
14 Mar 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 799, 43rd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Hugh Simpson Schunke's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Before the war:

Hugh Simpson Schunke was born in Wellington in South Australia in approximately October 1895. Wellington is located around the banks of the Murray River and at the point where the Murray bridge enters the lake Alexandria. His Next of Kin was his mother Emily Schunke. Hugh was 20 years and 4 months old when he applied for the war in February 1916, 6 ft tall, 166 lbs (75 kg), had a fresh complexion, which meant that he was healthy, clean and young. He also had hazel eyes and brown hair.

During his childhood, he lived in Langhorne’s Creek South Australia with his mother which had a small population of 427. In the war Hugh Simpson Schunke was a farm labourer, this could indicate a sign that he could’ve done farm work before and got the job in World War I from experience, but we still do not have any strong evidence that he did. Hugh also followed the religion of the Church of England.

During war:

On the 29th of February 1916, Hugh Schunke enlisted in World War I to become a private. He then signed all the forms needed to make sure he was fit and healthy to fight in the war. The doctors approved and he was ready to go.

On the 9th of March 1916 Hugh transferred to the 43rd Battalion Morphettville camp and fought, he then embarked and proceeded to France on the 26th of September 1916. He then marched with his battalion in France. On the 19th of November 1916, he went to segregation camp and stayed there from the 9th of November 1916 until the 2 of February 1917, 2 days later he ended up in the hospital for unknown causes and rejoined his battalion 5 days after that.

Hugh then was fighting in the war for quite a while after with no known injuries as the next service record is on the 8th of July 1917 when he got wounded and had to be admitted to hospital for a gunshot wound in his left arm. He then proceeded to a hospital ship called ‘saint Denis”, world war 1. This ship was called the Munich, which was used to convert passengers usually from Harwich, which is located in the United Kingdom to the Hook of Holland. But, in 1914 they decided that the ship was more useful to convert into a hospital ship for the uses of soldiers who fought in the war.  

Hugh Simpson Schunke then suffered from a contusion in his left arm as he had to be transferred to England to the Royal Victorian hospital. He was then admitted to another hospital called the auxiliary hospital. This was located in Dartford, England. This particular hospital specialises in treatment for war-related nerves and neuroses, which is depression, anxiety, or obsessive behaviour, but Hugh was there for nerves.

He then went from depot to depot these included the A.H.Q, HO2 command depot, H.O.H command depot and the M4 command depot. He proceeded to England and then France on the 9th of December 1917. Finally, after almost 7 months in the hospital on the 4th of January 1918, he re-joined the 43rd battalion. He then went to Paris for his leave in February.

On 4th july 1918 Schunke was wounded for the second occasion, this time in the thigh. He spent several months in hospital in England, apparently suffering from illness as well as the effects of his wound, before the decision was made to return him to Australia in December 1918.

After the war: 

Hugh disembarked on the 13th of February 1919 and was then was officially discharged 1 day later. He was in the war for 3 years and 24 days and during that time he fought abroad for 2 years and 250 days. After officially leaving the war, He was awarded medals for service, which included the Victory Medal and the British War Medal these were all mainly for the service and dedication he gave up for his country.

Bibliography:

-       South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau & Schunke, Emily (1917). Papers relating to No. 799 Private H. S. Schunke, A Company 43rd Battalion

-       Anzacday.org.au. (2019). Australian WW1 Hospitals - ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee. [online] Available at: https://anzacday.org.au/australian-ww1-hospitals.

history.govt.NZ. (n.d.). First World War glossary and list of abbreviations - First World War

-        glossary and list of abbreviations | NZHistory, New Zealand history online. [online] Available at: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/ww1-abbreviations-acronymns.

-       Following the Twenty-Second. (2017). Hospital Ships. [online] Available at: https://anzac-22nd-battalion.com/hospital-ships/.

-  Metmuseum.org. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/chri/hd_chri.htm

-  National Archives of Australia. (1914). SCHUNKE Hugh Simpson: Service Number - 799: Place of Birth - Wellington SA: Place of Enlistment - Adelaide SA: Next of Kin - (Mother) SCHUNKE Emily. [online] Available at: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8075731&S=1 [Accessed 25 Mar. 2021].

-  Virtual War Memorial Australia. (n.d.). [online Available at https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/rslvwm/comfy/cms/files/files/000/002/376/original/Abbrev___Glossary.pdf.

- GUIDE TO READING SERVICE RECORDS. (n.d.). [online] . Available at: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/rslvwm/comfy/cms/files/files/000/002/379/original/Guide_to_Reading_a_Service_Record_2021.pdf [Accessed 25 Mar. 2021].

- Adfa.edu.au. (2016). Search. [online] Available at: https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/search

- Awm.gov.au. (2016). | The Australian War Memorial. [online] Available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U51483.

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