He was born on 25 September 1887 at Truro and educated at Truro College, the Leys School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Ordained in 1914, he began his career with a curacy at St Andrew’s, Plymouth. He was then a Chaplain in the British Armed Forces during World War I  and after that Dean of Chapel at Caius (his undergraduate college). From 1927 until his ascension to the Episcopate he was Archdeacon of Coventry and an Honorary Chaplain to the King. In 1938 he volunteered to be chaplain to the British Legion Volunteer Police Force.
He died on 28 October 1950. He was a strong Evangelical and noted for his pastoral work. He was the chair of a commission to produce a new English translation of the Bible from 1948 to 1950. Hunkin used as his pastoral staff a shepherd's crook of iron with a wooden shaft bound with a silver band inscribed "Un para, un bugel" (Cornish for "One flock, one shepherd") and humbly enlisted in the Home Guard during World War II. A keen gardener, he was commemorated by a garden in the cathedral close and a shrub donated to every parish. He had become a Doctor of Divinity (DD).
Among his published works was Is it Reasonable to Believe?; London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1935. In 2001 a collection of newspaper articles by him was published, edited by Douglas Pett: From a Cornish Bishop's Garden; edited with an introduction by Douglas Ellory Pett. 2001. Penzance: Alison Hodge
- NPG details
- London Gazette
- Bishop of Truro: Archdeacon Hunkin Appointed The Times Monday, 1 April 1935; p. 14; Issue 47027; col F
- “Who was Who” 1897–2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
- Wood, Joanna (2005), High on the Hill, pp. 184–185. Blue Hill Publishing, ISBN 0-9549005-1-0.
- Church web-site
- Dunstan, A. & Peart-Binns, J. S. (1977) Cornish Bishop. London: Epworth ISBN 0716202824/ ISBN 978-0-7162-0282-0
- Crockford's Clerical Directory1940–41 Oxford, OUP,1941
- "British Legion volunteers". The Times. 7 October 1938. p. 8.
- Bishop of Truro: a Great Pastoral Leader The Times Monday, 30 October 1950; p. 6; Issue 51835; col E
- "Joseph Hunkin in New York". Time Inc. 14 February 1938. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- Brown, H. Miles (1976) A Century for Cornwall. Truro: Blackford; pp. 102–116
- Hunkin, J.W. "From a Cornish bishop's garden". Copac. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Truro