Robert Hunston was the son of Robert and Helen Hunston of Stourbridge and later of 32 Hallewell Road, Edgbaston. He was commissioned to the Bedfordshire Regiment and joined the 7th (Service) Battalion in the 18th Division. This battalion went to France in July 1915 and was posted to the quiet Somme area on the Western Front. Quiet it might have been termed, but the men had a full share of shelling, sniping and patrols. By 1916 they were ready for the first day of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July, and the Bedfords were responsible for the second wave attack which took Pommiers Trench. August was spent in reserve, but they returned to attack Thiepval and the Schwaben Redoubt on the 26th September. Their Brigade had the task of attacking the village across nearly a mile of rising terrain and three of its four battalions were exhausted by the evening. This left the Bedfords to move into the confused front line in pitch darkness and to put in a surprise attack at dawn on the 27th. This was remarkably successful and a vital position had been won. One officer was killed and this was Second Lieutenant Robert Hunston. He was 21 years of age and is buried in Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval (I C 12) and commemorated on the Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials. His brother died on the 13th July 1916. The surname is spelled 'Hunstone' on the Stourbridge Memorial.
Market Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1AQ
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