Sergeant David Hanley



David Hanley was born on 3 July 1893 at Meadow Cottage, Balmoral, Belfast, the third of seven children of cemetery registrar John Hanley and his wife Rachel (nee McLelland). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his widowed mother and four siblings at 8 Rathcool Street, Belfast, and working as a carpenter.

Hanley enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1680). He embarked for France in 1916 or in the first half of 1917, perhaps with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May and June 1916 the five North Irish Horse Squadrons then in France, together with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron, came together to form the 1st and 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most, Hanley was transferred on 20 September following a period of infantry training at the 36th (Ulster) Division's Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur. He was issued a new regimental number – 41531.

No record has been located of his subsequent service. The 9th (NIH) Battalion played a significant part in actions over the following twelve months – at Cambrai (November-December 1917), the Retreat from St Quentin (March 1918), the fighting around Messines (April 1918), and the Advance to Victory (August to November 1918).

After he was demobilised in 1919, Hanley returned to Belfast, where he worked as a joiner. On 26 April 1920 he married Beatrice Mildred Barrett at St Bartholomew's Church of Ireland Church in Belfast. He died at the Throne Hospital, Whitewell, Belfast, on 20 January 1956, and was buried in the Knockbreda Cemetery.



I am grateful to Christine Latimer for making available the above image of her paternal Grandfather.