This is my father William Edwin Hunt’s story of coming to Canada as a British Home Child.
He was born in Cloncrane, Edenderry, Kings County, Ireland. June 19, 1892. His parents were Eliza (Feeney) Hunt & William Hunt. Eliza and William married in Edenderry between Apr & Sept 1878. He he had 3 siblings:
Marianne – b. May 20, 1878
Eliza – b. Nov. 27, 1880
Kate – b. Jul-Sep 1884
Their Mother was Catholic, and their father was Protestant. They separated and the girls went with their mother, and my dad went with his father. Times were hard back then, and he chose to put my dad in Mrs. Smyly’s Home as he wanted him to be raised Protestant.
According to research we found he left Ireland for Canada May 6, 1906 on the ship S.S. Tunnison.
He went to work on the farm of Mr. A. Sherriff of Winterbourne, ON. In 1911, he went to work for Mr. Sherriff’s brother. In 1913, he moved on to work in a hat factory in Guelph to make enough money to do a commercial course.
In 1915 he volunteered for WW1. He was badly wounded at Ypres and ended up in a hospital in Manchester, England and was there to have his left leg amputated. He wrote this poem for the wonderful nurses that nursed him back to health. After his recovery, he returned to Canada in 1918 the Government giving him a good job in Sault Ste. Marie, ON with the Employment Office.
He must have had a thing for Nurses, as he married one, (my mother) Henrietta (Rattu) on June 12, 1928
We are their children – Barbara, Mary (Me) Sheila.
He was well respected in our community. He felt the need to help the down-+trodden and people looking for work were often sent to our home for a meal and to clean up. Some workers travelled great distances looking for work. I guess he understood their feelings and did all he could to lighten their burdens.
He died Feb. 10, 1949. I was only 5 1/2.
Although I didn’t know him, my family made sure I learned as much about him as possible. My oldest sister, Sheila, did a family tree and found out some information but not much about his family in Ireland. I have carried on but haven’t had much luck in finding any relatives.
I know that he may not have felt loved as a child, but he sure was loved and cherished in his adult life.