Farnworth man inherits bundle of World War One letters - and now he wants to reunite them with the sender's family
A FARNWORTH man is hoping to reunite the family of a war medic with his letters from World War One.
Dr David Marcus Hanson performed operations on the frontline before spending 50 years as a GP in Halliwell.
Graeme Knott inherited the bundle of about 28 letters from his father Robert and wants to return them to the surviving members of Dr Hanson’s family.
With the help of staff at Bolton Museum, Mr Knott discovered Dr Hanson was born in County Wicklow in August 1887.
In 1913, he came to Bolton as assistant to Dr Rice, who had a practice in Daubhill.
Dr Hanson joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in the Great War before he was injured in 1917.
Mr Knott said: “I want to give them back to the family and for him to get the recognition he very much deserves.
“It’s just an amazing story, it should be told. He was on the frontline doing operations. That’s amazing for me.
“He was very well-respected. This man did something with his life. I would love to have met him.”
Dr Hanson borrowed money from his family to buy a practice in Halliwell and set up home and a surgery at 509 to 511 Halliwell Road.
He became known as “t’pneumonia doctor” because of his work fighting cases of Spanish flu.
The letters are first addressed to Miss Isabel F Swanson, Belfast, and to Mrs Hanson, of 268 Derby Street, after they married. Mr Knott said: “It’s coming up to 100 years since the outbreak of the war.
“All these letters are between him and his sweetheart, 1913 to 1922.
“It’s not just love letters. He describes what they are doing on the frontline.
“He was innovative when it came to new procedures.”
Dr Hanson wrote in detail of life on the frontline, describing treating one patient whose “insides were adrift”.
Mr Knott is unsure where his father got the letters from, which he says are heartwarming and of personal, social and historical value. He added: “I took an interest in history, antiques and collectables.
“Me and my dad used to sit down and look at his stuff.
“As far as where exactly he got them from, nobody in the family can pinpoint.
“I want them to go back to the family.
“His mother and father brought him over from Ireland.
“He was educated alongside Field Marshal Montgomery and he knew Dr Barnardo.
“I would love to know more about him.”
Anyone who knows Dr Hanson’s family can phone the newsdesk on 01204 537270.
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