Ted Hunt was born in 1920 and his family were watermen and lightermen on the river Thames. Watermen carry fare-paying passengers and lightermen carry cargo. Ted joined up in 1939 and was immediately sent to Field Company Royal Engineers, part of the 49th West Riding Division. Within six months he was on his way to Norway.
The War Office then had thoughts about invading the continent. They approached the Company of Waterman and Lighterman. Ted was to join the Inland Water Transport Company Royal Engineers with the prospect of learning how to handle invasion craft.
He was commissioned as a Captain and commanded fifteen Rhino ferries on Gold Beach on D-Day. Sixty-four Rhinos in four months had put ashore 93,000 units containing vehicles, tanks, guns and 440,000 tons of military stores.
Ted eventually moved into Holland to help design the longest floating Bailey bridge of World War II that crossed the river Mass. The bridge was 4,008 feet long and was opened on 19 February 1945.
Ted was promoted to a Major and was sent back to England after VE Day to get prepared to take his company to Burma until the Americans dropped the Atomic bomb. Ted was demobbed in May 1946.
Ted married and had two daughters and one son. He returned to civilian life as a college lecturer in navigation and watermanship in London until 1985.
In 1978 he was invited to become the Queen’s Bargemaster. The Queen honoured Ted by making him a member of the Royal Victorian Order, her personal gift.
Print taken from the book ‘A TIME TO FIGHT Living and Remembering WWII’