Private Thomas Hanna


Thomas Hanna was born on 10 April 1887 at 44 Spencer Street, Belfast, the fourth of seven children of plater (later iron shipwright) John Hanna and his wife Margaret (née McAllister). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 133 Cavehill Road, Belfast, with his parents and two of his three surviving siblings, and working as an iron shipwright.

Hanna enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 2 October 1914 (No.1253). On 28 April 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons.

In ealy 1916, however, Hanna fell ill and was evacuated to the UK, where on 17 January he was admitted to the military hospital at Netley. After three months' treatment he was again fit for duty and was posted to the North Irish Horse reserve camp at Antrim. The illness returned, however, and on 28 June 1916 he was admitted to hospital in Belfast and then transferred to the Portobello Hospital in Dublin, where he remained until discharged on 2 September.

A medical board reported that he had contracted the disease about 6 months before joining the army and while not the result of military service, was aggravated by misconduct while in the army.

Hanna was discharged on 25 September 1916, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'indifferent'. His level of disability was assessed at 25 per cent, and he was later awarded a £60 gratuity.