Nathaniel LUNT

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LUNT, Nathaniel

Service Number: 2159
Enlisted: 20 October 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England, 5 June 1886
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Jonh's School, Liverpool, England
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Belinglese, France, 20 September 1918, aged 32 years
Cemetery: Bellicourt British Cemetery
Grave IV. B. 2.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

20 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Feb 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Miltiades, Adelaide
7 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 48th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
25 Mar 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 48th Infantry Battalion, Dernancourt/Ancre
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 48th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"
2 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2159, 48th Infantry Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal

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Biography

 First name spelled Nathinel on Embarkation Roll (www.awm.gov.au)

Nathaniel Lunt was known as one of the characters of the Battalion.  He served with it all the way from Pozieres to Bellinglese and was with Private James Park Woods when Woods won the Victoria Cross.  Nathaniel Lunt's luck ran out right at the very end of the 48th Battalion's war.

There too poor Lunt was killed, the best known man in the battalion, and the hero of many fights both in the line and out of it, for he gave as much trouble to his friends a she did to the enemy. With Punch Donovan and Cork Daly and some others, he formed a small party that one learned to look on as essential to the identity of the 48th. Throughout its career, from Pozieres to Bellenglise, they might be seen supplying their comic relief to the tragedy of every engagement. Colonels and adjutants might come and go, but it almost seemed that they must continue while the Battalion lasted. Always conspicuous in an attack, but as soon as the climax of that excitement has passed they sought fresh interest in the odd jobs that ensued from it. If prisoners were to be taken to the rear, the duty of escort was regarded as theirs by right, and many were the antics with which they performed the task. They knew everything for they were everywhere, and seemed to have no regular duty but to be the emergency men of the unit. They received decorations and none were better deserved, but the same gypsy character which made them so useful to the Battalion as regular and irregular scouts, made promotion impossible. Authority was prudently tolerant of the latitude they gave themselves, and they seemed to want no favour.

Lunt’s career with the 48th came to an end opposite Bellenglise, and his comrades buried him, and those who had fallen with him. Fortunately they were not too many. When, however, at a future date hostilities ceased, and it was known that the unit had seen its last fight, the knowledge gave a retrospective pathos to the fate of these poor fellows who fell so near to final victory. Down by the small spur known as Dean Copse some of them were laid to rest, men who had fallen in the final stage of the advance. Father up the face of the hill another plot receive the men who die when the 48th made its last stand, and also their comrades of the other Battalions who had fallen in the progress of that last advance of the Brigade.

[From William Devine, The Story of a Battalion, Melville & Mullen Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1919, pp.151-152.]

 

Before he was able to enlist, Nathaniel Lunt had developed a little notoriety in the Port Adelaide area;

"ROGUE AND VAGABOND GETS TWO MONTHS IN GAOL.

Having been previously convicted for being an idle and disorderly person, Nathanial Lunt, a London "cockney," was brought before the Port Adelaide Police Court yesterday morning on a charge of being a rogue and vagabond. Plainclothes-Constabte Donnellan said he had known Lunt for several years, and for the last two month's he had been continually hanging around hotel corners, and in hotels begging money. On Saturday afternoon witness saw Lunt at the Wharf Hotel, and asked him where he was living. "I pay for my bed," was the reply. In answer to further questions he said he slept at John- son's on Thursday night, and at the Sailors' Home on Friday night.

The Accused — That's a lie. Sub-Inspector Bennett — That is a most disrespectful statement to make to the Court.

Continuing, Constable Donnellan told the accused that he had received complaints about him and that he had been sticking up people and cadging drinks. "You have done no work for two months," remarked the witness. "I could not get any to do," answered the accused, who was then asked why he did not accept an offer for work on the collier Barwon.

Accused — There is not enough work for the men in the union let alone me, and I'm a non-unionist.

Constable Donnellan (continuing his evidence) — He stopped a man near Robinson's Bridge and asked him for money. When he was refused, Lunt hit the man. This the accused denied. Witness then arrested him. A witness (Edward Vickers) gave evidence to the effect that the accused asked him for a couple of shillings, and because he refused Lunt knocked him down.

Accused — Did you not call me a ----- of the lowest type? Witness — No...  Did you not call me all the low names you could lay your tongue to! — No. Accused — You did, and I knocked you down. You are telling untruths.

Constable O'Leary also gave evidence, in which he stated that he had known the accused to do very little work during the past few years. Lunt associated with convicted persons. Accused told the court, that he had not been able to obtain permanent employment, although he had done odd jobs on the wharfs and ketches. He had tried to join the army, but had been rejected three times. The sentence of the court was two months' imprisonment." - from the Adelaide Daily Herald 17 Aug 1915 (nla.gov.au)

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was 32 and  the son of John Lunt and Susan (nee Tait) and the brother of John Lunt, of 9, Bibby Lane, Bootle, Liverpool.

He is remembered on the Merseyside Roll of Honour.

He is also commemorated on the following local memorials
Bootle Civic Memorials
St.Leonard's C.of E Church, Bootle (partial)