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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

J H Hanna, 8th Gloucesters

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This extract was printed in the Faringdon Advertiser, December the 8th, 1917

MISSING; BELIEVED KILLED.- Colour-Sergt. J. Hanna has recieved the following letter from the Platoon Sergeant of the Company of which his son was serving in France, and who, after being wounded, was afterwards missed, and nothing further has been heard of him :- B.E.F., 25/11/17,-- To Col-Sergt. Hanna --

Sir, Re news regarding your son, Pte J H Hanna, No. 23938, of my platoon. I can only say for a certainty that he was wounded in the advance on the 20/9/17, and since then we can find no trace of him. As we know for a fact that the Boches did not come back over that part of the ground over which we advanced, I fear there is no doubt but that he must have been caught by a shell while making his way to the first aid post. It is with sincere sympathy that I write these few lines, but I do not see any possible chance of his being alive now or he would have most assuredly been traced ere now. It will be some consolation to you in your loss to know that only the evening before he performed one of the most heroic acts a man can possibly do. He was in an advanced post with some of his comrades, when the "Jerries" attempted to rush it. They threw several of their grenades, one of which your son threw out of the trench before it had time to explode, thus saving some of his comrades from serious injury, if not death. For this he was recommended for the D.C.M., and would have received it at the last presentation had he been with us, but no doubt you will hear more about this through other channels. I can only add that for the short time that I had the pleasure of knowing your son I found him a most willing, obedient and clean soldier. i have the honour, Sir, to remain with sincere regards, yours faithfully, C. ARTER, Sergt.

I've posted this because, John Henry Hanna was one of the Soldiers that were recorded on my local memorial that I had a great deal of trouble tracking, it just goes to show what can sometimes turn up! The accuracy of the letter I haven't been able to check as of yet apart from the fact he is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Flanders and the Faringdon and Little Coxwell memorials in 'Blighty'

Oh well, only another 16 to go, and to find out why another 20 or so don't appear to be on local Memorials at all? :(


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