Today, Sunday, November 4 2018, is the centenary of the death of one of City’s amateur players, Fred Hunt. The fact that he died in Palestine, after deployment in India, is a reminder of the global nature of World War 1.
Fred volunteered for active service soon after the outbreak of the war. In December 1914, along with other members of the football club, including director Norman Kendall and pro Alf Green, he sailed for India with the 2/4th Devons.
Later, a sergeant attached to the 1/123rd Outram Rifles as a musketry instructor, he took part in actions against Turkish forces, having embarked for Egypt in October 1917.
Fred was Exeter born and bred. He played for his local club St Leonard’s, then St Margaret’s in Topsham, and was ‘selected’ to play for Bath City.
A full-back, he was a regular member of the Exeter City Reserve XI from September 1912 – right up until the autumn of 1914. He was, we’re told, ‘a very keen and clever Soccer footballer, being of fine physique’.
After a City practice game in August 1913, “Rover” of the Football Express wrote: "The amateurs have every reason to be pleased. Dilley, the Army Service Corps man, scored a goal, and Lewis got two, while Hunt was quite as good at back." He was a popular player.
Fred Hunt, 28, died of pneumonia at a hospital in Gaza. In the Gaza War Cemetery, the inscription on his headstone reads: ‘HE WILL ALWAYS LIVE IN THE HEARTS THAT LOVED HIM.'