Chapter 2.  Trent College

Francis Wright founded the school in 1868, and the foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Devonshire. The Devonshire family is still connected with the establishment as members of the Board of Governors. At the time Hunt went to Trent, the Head was a man called Tucker, who considerably improved the fortunes of the school. It had been in somewhat of a decline prior to his arrival, with only 40 or so pupils, but he increased the number to over 200 by the start of the present century, and so Kenneth Hunt joined a school that was gaining in popularity and reputation.

Hunt enrolled at Trent College in the 'Lent' (or Spring) term of 1902. Upon entering the school, (the fees of which were about £25 p.a.), Hunt was assigned to 'G' dormitory, where he resided for a year, prior to transferring to 'F'. As he would have been almost 18 years of age, Kenneth Hunt was made a prefect, and his sporting abilities made him a natural choice for track, field and team sports. He gained placings in both short and long-distance running events, and there is also reference to him being a member of the School's rifle club, as well as being in both the football and cricket teams.

He quickly established himself as the Captain of both the Cricket and Football teams. The following is a description of Hunt from the school magazine, the 'Trident' of 1902:

“ energetic and efficient captain and largely responsible for the success of the team. Must be more careful to get in front of opposing forwards, so as to intercept the ball and be sharper on the ball.”

Kenneth Hunt (centre) Captain of the Football First XI.
Hunt thrived at Trent and it was noted in 1903 that he weighed 11st. 4.5lbs. which was over a stone heavier than when he entered Trent the previous year.

Socially Kenneth Hunt took a full and active part in school life and his humour is evident from the following. Describing 'Saturday nights', the social time of the week for boarders, a 1903 'Trident' referring to February of that year states:

"'F' gave an entertainment which was certainly remarkable for its originality. Hunt, under an appropriate pseudonym, demonstrated the properties of a new gas recently discovered by himself by the aid of certain long-suffering victims, who under its influence performed startling feats of strength and endurance. The proceedings ended with a ditty in which the dormitory as a whole made profession of their love for cold water and early rising."

One of the only references to Hunt's academic progress is found in the details of the 1903 Speech Day, when Hunt was awarded the 'Freer' prize for Greek prose. This was one of a whole list of prizes, (distributed by the Dean of Peterborough), and it appears to be the only time he was mentioned for anything other than sport.

In 1904 the Oxford & Cambridge Board results refer to Hunt's exam successes. “... Latin, Greek, El.(Elucid) Maths, Scripture, English Essay & English History”. This was very much a Humanities based education, and made Hunt well suited for undertaking a classics degree at Oxford.

In his second and final year at Trent, Hunt became Head of the School (in other words 'Head Boy'). This was undoubtedly in recognition of the role he had played in the school's sporting life, but it also indicates something of his academic ability, as the school was unlikely to appoint a boy to this position who was not expected to succeed in future life. Despite this, it is certainly true that he was not an outstanding scholar.

After leaving Trent in 1904, Hunt kept in regular touch with the College and his old school friends in Oxford, and later London by becoming a member of the 'Old Tridents' (O.T.). The members of this organisation usually met for dinner once or twice a year. Hunt agreed to become the Honorary Secretary of the Junior Branch of this group in 1911. He later revisited College at various times, and is listed as contributing to the 'Hanbury Memorial Window' in the College Chapel in 1914.

It seems a little surprising that although Hunt's fame as a footballer was nation wide in 1908, the College did not make a great play of this as might be expected. His part in the Cup Final win of that year merited a mere 3 lines in the August 1908 edition of the 'Trident'. The school rightfully honours the Royal Flying Corps 'ace' of the Great War, Albert Ball, who was a former pupil of Trent. Although Hunt and Ball would not have been actual contemporaries, (Hunt being somewhat older than Ball), it is interesting to speculate whether the two men actually met during one of Hunt's visits to the school.

Kenneth Hunt's loyalty to the school was life long, and the Hunt family connection with the school was consolidated when his sister Margaret went to teach there at the time of the Great War. Even though he had spent little more than two years at Trent, his visits and the fact that he left money to the school in his will bear witness to his regard for the place. At the school Kenneth Hunt seems to have matured and developed as a young man and a sportsman. Undoubtedly the lessons he learnt at Trent held him in good stead during his later sporting, clerical and teaching career.

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