Cecil Bertram Hanson

Born: 1890

Died: 10 June 1915

Son of Martin B. Hanson and Mary Aloysius Hanson, of "Oreti", 21 Cardinal Street, Mosman.

Joined his unit at Anzac, 26 May 1915. Wounded in action at Gaba Tepe, 3 June 1915. Died on Hospital Ship Sicilia between Gallipoli and Malta and buried at sea. Remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli.

Cecil Hanson's niece Patricia Bartholomew lent a number of items for digitisation at the Doing our bit Scan-a-thon in 2012. These include letters and postcards home that can be accessed from Mosman Library's digital archive Trace - search for 'Hanson'.

This speech commemorating Cecil Bertram Hanson was given at the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on 11 July 2015.

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Cecil Bertram Hanson.

Cecil Hanson was born in 1890 in Mosman, Sydney, to Martin and Mary Hanson. He attended St Brigid’s School in Mosman and later became variously a labourer and a commercial salesman. He was a primary wage earner for his parents as his father lost his job as a clerk due to a failing memory.

Hanson was in Goondiwindi, Queensland, in early 1915 and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force from there. He was posted to the 9th Battalion, although it is uncertain exactly when he joined them overseas. It is also unclear whether he was present during the Gallipoli landings on 25 April 1915, but he had joined his battalion at Anzac Cove by late May or early June.

On 3 June Hanson was wounded, possibly in a small Turkish counter-attack against the battalion. Details are not recorded as to the manner of his wounding, but whatever happened to Private Hanson was serious enough for him to be evacuated from the peninsula, and he was sent to Malta on board the HS Sicilia. After a week at sea, Private Hanson’s condition worsened, and he died of his wounds. Cecil Hanson was buried at sea. He was 24 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 Australians who died during the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Cecil Bertram Hanson, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Dr Meleah Hampton Historian, Military History Section

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