Sub-Lieutenant William John Hurst served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the elder son of the late Charles Benjamin Hurst and Marjorie Hurst of 4 Sydenham Avenue, Belfast, Co. Down. His grandfather was the late William John Hurst JP of Drumaness, Co. Down. His father was the founder of Charles Hurst Ltd. automobile engineers of Montgomery Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim - a company that still bears his name.
William held a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from Christ College, Cambridge. He attended Elmpark Elementary School and Campbell College, Belfast, Co. Down. After graduating from Cambridge, he returned to Co. Down to enter the family flax business with Messrs. Hurst Ltd. at Dumaness Mills.
At the outbreak of World War Two, he joined the Ulster Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve at HMS Caroline and was soon called up. He died on 13th November 1940 aged 22 years old. He served on HMS Decoy when a bomb ripped through the ship as it sat docked in Alexandria, Egypt. Temporary repairs allowed the ship to depart for Malta where it underwent further fixes.
William John Hurst’s grave is in Section N, Grave 57 of Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt.