Westhoughton World War One medic's frontline letters finally returned to his family
LETTERS written by a war medic have finally been handed to his family 100 years after they were penned.
Dr David Marcus Hanson’s grandson, also called David Hanson, said he was delighted to receive the 28 handwritten letters — especially in the centenary year of World War One.
The former Bolton School pupil, who now lives in Leamington Spa, made a special trip to meet Graeme Knott, of Rydal Grove in Farnworth, to collect the letters.
Mr Knott’s father Robert, who used to work for the council, found the letters, written between 1913 and 1922, as he cleared out the doctor’s home 30 years ago when it was being sold.
Dr Hanson, born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in August 1887, moved to London and then Bolton in 1913, as an assistant to Dr Rice, who had a practice in Daubhill.
He served with RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) during the war, before setting up his own surgery at in Halliwell Road.
Dr Hanson died on Good Friday morning, 1964, and his patients put a memorial window in St Paul’s Church.
Mr Hanson, aged 57, said: “It’s exceptional. I am delighted. The whole family is completely indebted to Graeme and his father. He knew when he kept the letters all those years ago that they were something special.
“And what makes it that extra special is that it has happened exactly 100 years after the war began.
“We always knew as kids that grandad had served in World War One before he was a GP in Bolton — where he probably looked after the whole of Halliwell.
“But now we have an insight into his early life, which we would not have had if it wasn’t for Graeme’s kindness.”
Mr Knott added: “I’m really pleased to meet David and that he is happy with the letters, although I admit letting them go will be quite emotional after having them for so many years.
“They were just one of the many items that my dad brought home after he cleared a house, but rather than chucking them out, I’ve kept hold of them.
“I was thinking of selling them at first but I thought that with it coming up to the centenary I’d take it to the museum.
“After researching about Dr Hanson I decided that the right place for the letters was with his family.”
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