His first VFL game was against Collingwood in 1900. He played in the centre. Herbert Humphreys Hunter went on to play two more games for Essendon. He could run 100 yards in 11 secs making him one of the quickest athletes of his time. He joined the Citizens Military Forces in 1908 and when war was declared joined the AIF and rose to Captain with the 7th Battalion. On Gallipoli in May 1915, two weeks after the landing, the 7th Battalion along with other Australian forces were transferred south on the Gallipoli Peninsula to attempt to take a small hill called Sari Bair. It was a perilous and costly battle where troops had to charge across open farm land that was swept by Turkish machine guns.
The action is described in The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1915 by C. E. W. Bean.
“Many of the officers were hit. Lieutenant Scanlan was hit through the chest and Lieutenant Fraser through the head within 200 yards of the Tommies’ Trench. Captain Hunter – a famous Victorian athlete – was wounded and then hit again and killed.”
His body was never recovered. The Athletics Club in Bendigo, Hunter’s home town, still remembers him with the H. H. Hunter Athlete of the Year trophy, awarded each year.