Lieut. John Matthew Hanly
Lieutenant John Matthew (Queen's South Africa Medal & 4 Clasps)
5th Light Horse Regiment, Australian Imperial Force
Born 18 May 1875, in Queensland
[Birth certificate: 75/004122, Qld]
Educated: Clifton State School, Queensland
Married;: Farmer & Grazier, of Roscommon Station, Kaimkillenbun, Dalby, Qld.
Next Of Kin: Wife; Bridget Isabel Hanly (nee Cassidy) of Roscommon Station, Kaimkillenbun, Dalby, Qld.
Photos of Lieutenant Hanly are known to exist in the following locations:
Group photo - 5th LHR Officers Sydney Town & Country Journal 23 Dec 1914 p30. Brisbane Courier 20 June 1915
Fought in South African (Boer) War as a Lieutenant in the 3rd (Queensland Mounted Infantry) Contingent.
Father; James Hanly. Mother; Margaret Hanly (nee Kelly).
Appears in birth register as John Hanly; no 'Matthew'.
Married 19 Sept 1908., Qld, to Bridget Isabel Cassidy.
Killed during an attack on the Twin Trenches, southern Anzac, late on the night of June 6th:
'The Turkish patrols also seem to have been strengthened, for several sharp encounters occurred during June, one party of the 5th Light Horse Regiment under Lieutenant Hanly being surrounded and its commander killed.' (Bean V2 p190)
The unit history of the regiment expands:
'Lieutenant Hanly and party reconnoitered the Twin Trenches. In doing this the patrol mounted the enemy parapet and fired into it from that position. While doing this Lieutenant Hanly was shot. Two other men were wounded. Lieutenant Hanly was carried back a few hundred yards, when the sergeant in charge decided that life was extinct. As the patrol was still under heavy rifle fire, the body was left... ' Two search parties attempted to recover Lt Hanly's body, but were unsuccessful. 'The officers of the regiment arranged for a tablet to be erected in the church at Dalby, Queensland...' (Wetherell p18).
Letter from Sergeant Donald Fraser (5th LHR) to his father, from hospital in Malta, reads in part:
'One night one of our officers took a party of 12 men out in a scouting trip towards the Turkish trenches. He actually charged, and took a trench, killing a number of Turks, but was himself shot. The patrol found they had to retire, and carried the officer's body away a couple of hundred yards, but had to abandon it owing to the heavy Turkish rifle fire. They were away about a mile from our trenches, and were encumbered by having another wounded man with them. The following night I went out in charge of a party to endeavour to get the officer's body. Young Ken Henderson and I had to crawl on our hands and knees and on our stomachs to within one hundred yards of the enemy's trench looking for the body. The night was dark, but it is wonderful how the bayonet reflects starlight, and we had to go carefully. We could hear the Turks talking, knowing that a false move meant a fusillade of bullets. The officer's body had been removed by the Turks, and we were unsuccessful, and we got back safely. It is not usual to risk life in bringing in the dead, but as there was some doubt about this officer being dead, it was decided to find out.' (Rockhampton Daily Record 29 Sep 1915 p7).
Letter from Colonel Harris (CO of 5th LHR) to Mrs I.M. Hanly:
'It is with the most sincere regret that I have to confirm my cable to you concerning the death of your husband, Lieutenant Hanly, who was killed in action on June 6. He took a reconnoitring patrol over to some Turkish trenches, about a mile outside our lines, and, meeting with opposition from the Turks, attacked them, putting them to flight. To our great regret he was killed in the fight, after behaving in his usual gallant manner. We all miss him greatly. Cheerful under the most adverse circumstances, he was beloved by us all, and by me, after knowing him for so many years, not the least. Our sympathies go out to you and your children (he often talked to me of you all), and the only consolation - if one may call it so - is that he died as a brave and gallant gentleman, such as he should, with his face to the foe, and more than playing his part in this bitter struggle.'
'HANLY - killed in action at the Dardanelles, Lieutenant John M. Hanly, 5th Light Horse, late of Roscommon, Kaimkillenbun, on the 6th June 1915.' - 'Roll Of Honour' (The Queenslander 31 Jul 1915 p9).
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