HUNTRISS, Alexander Hughes

Alexander was the elder son of Frederick and Janet Huntriss of Newcastle NSW.  His birth was registered in 1891 at Merewether NSW.  He attended Newcastle High School and later became a School Teacher, specialising in the French language.

At the time Alexander enlisted at Inverell in August 1915, he was teaching at Inverell District School.  The Inverell Times newspaper 7 September 1915 reported that staff and students organised a farewell function for Alexander. Gifts of a safety razor and fountain pen were made by the staff whilst students presented him with a wristlet watch.  Several friends also farewelled him and gave a pipe and case.

Alexander joined the 30th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and left Australia on the ship HMAT A73 Nestor in April 1916.  After arriving in Egypt he was sent to England in June and three months later went to France.  During the dreadful winter of 1916/17 he became ill with pneumonia and was returned to England where he was admitted to 2nd West General Hospital in Manchester.  Whilst recovering he helped teach French to other soldiers and nurses. After four months he returned to France.

Private Alexander Huntriss was killed when a bomb exploded killing several men at Company Headquarters near Messines on 18 November 1917. He was buried at Bethlehem Farm West Cemetery, Messines, Belgium. His personal effects were returned to his Mother and included a wallet, photos and pipe.

At Inverell Alexander’s name is recorded on the Inverell District School’s Roll of Honour, the Inverell Honor Roll and the Cenotaph.  In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell. Alexander's name is also on the Newcastle High School WW1 Honor Roll. 

A younger brother Frederick enlisted at Liverpool NSW in August 1915 and served in Egypt and France with the 2nd Battalion 9th Reinforcements.  He returned home in September 1917 and was medically discharged.