Private Samuel Joseph Hanna


Samuel Joseph Hanna was born on 30 April 1885 in Wellington Street, Ballymena, the twelfth of fourteen children of auctioneer (previously, at various times, linen manufacturer, manager and grocer) Robert Hanna and his wife Mary Jane (née Kennedy).

Hanna married Marie Barklie at St Anne's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast, on 13 October 1910. He gave his address as Dunadry, County Antrim, and his occupation as publican. Soon after, according to the 1911 Census, they were living at Islandreagh, County Antrim with their child Georgina May, Samuel working as a spirit merchant. They later moved to Ballygolan, then to Lawther Street, Belfast, Samuel's occupation recorded as barman, then labourer.

Hanna enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 11 and 30 December 1914 (No.1355). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France on 17 November 1915 with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Hanna, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Hanna was issued regimental number 41203.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

It appears that Hanna fell ill in March 1918, and that he remained under treatment for much of the remainder of the year. Following his discharged to duty on 18 September he was allowed a fortnight's leave before rejoining his regiment.

On 20 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.