The Men

The Men

Sunday, 19 January 2014

* Second Lieutenant Norman Leslie Hannon



Second Lieutenant, NORMAN LESLIE HANNON, 7th Bn. King's Liverpool Regiment. 16th May 1915. Age 20. Son of M. M. Hannon, of Ardreigh House, Athy, Co. Kildare, and the late John A. Hannon. Born at Castledermot, Co. Kildare. VII. K. 19. (Guards Cemetery, Cuinchy - France)
Source: The Liverpool  Regiment 

To read the war diary of the regiment, follow this link 

Hannon, Norman Leslie. Rank; Lieutenant, Kings Liverpool Regiment, 7 th Batt. Killed in action, Festubert, May 18, 1915. Born Ardreigh House, Athy, Age 20 (Ian and Norman Leslie Hannon were brothers; Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website lists parents and says he was born Castledermot and died on 16 May; it does not list Ian Hannon but does list John Coulson). Source: Kildare Library 

The High School Journal- The Erasmian: June 1915 p63

'In Memoriam.

LIEUTENANT NORMAN LESLIE HANNON,

Born July 19th, 1894,

Killed at Festubert, May 16th, 1915.

'IT was with feelings of the deepest sorrow and regret to his wide circle of friends that the
report that Leslie Hannon had been killed in action arrived. He was first reported missing, but
those of us who knew him had little hopes of his having been taken prisoner. He had been
at the front since March with the Seventh Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment, and
had taken part in several engagements. On Sunday, May 16th, his Battalion was ordered
to advance, and it was in the charge that Leslie Hannon fell, shot in the stomach while
gallantly leading his men. "Go in boys and win" were his last words; and they did win although
they sustained four hundred casualties. He died as he had lived, a true sportsman and a
gentleman. In the three years he was at the High School he made himself more popular than
anyone else could have done in so short a time. He was a good all-round athlete, and during
all three years he played for the Cup Team in both football and cricket, being elected captain
of the cricket for two successive years. He entered Trinity in October, 1913, just failing by bad
luck to obtain a Junior Exhibition, and was awarded a Statutory Exhibition by the Governors.
There his winsome disposition won him many friends. When war broke out he was one of the
first cadets in the O.T.C. to apply for a commission, and he had joined his regiment before the
end of last August. His manly and honourable character made him a general favourite among
officers and men. His noble life, cut short upon the threshold of a most promising career,
affords us all a lofty example of duty and patriotism, and his memory will long be cherished by
those whose privilege it was to treasure him as a friend.


“His memory long will live alone
In all our hearts, as mournful light
That broods above the fallen sun,
And dwells in heaven half the night.” '


Courtesy the Board of Governors of the Schools founded by Erasmus Smith Esq


An Excerpt from Athy Eye on the Past: 

Letters from the Front - Leslie and Ian Hannon

I received in the post quite recently, a small bundle of old letters neatly kept together in a box, which itself was  evidently of great age. They were sent to me by David Hannon, brother of Bishop Hannon of Clogher, both of whom are sons of the late Archdeacon Gordan Hannon. It was the second time that some of these letters were delivered to Ardreigh House. On the last occasion their letters arrived in Athy, Leslie Hannon and his brother Ian Hannon were writing to their parents, John and Martha Hannon.

Mr. and Mrs. Hannon and their eight children moved to Ardreigh House Athy in 1910 from Prumplestown House, Castledermot when John took charge of the Ardreigh Mills, following the death of his brother Harry. Their four sons Reggie, Gordon, Ian and Leslie and their daughters Gladys, Marjorie, Eileen and Ethel spent many happy days in the idyllic surroundings of Ardreigh, an area immortalised in the poetry of Rev. J.J. Malone who was a native of Barrowhouse.
Gordon Hannon entered Trinity College Dublin and studied for the Church of Ireland. He later began his clerical career as a curate in Dublin. His brothers, Norman Leslie, commonly known as “Leslie”, and John Coulson known as “Ian”, enlisted in the British Army during the first year of the Great War, as did so many of their neighbours from Athy. Both were commissioned as Lieutenants in the 7th Kings Liverpool Regiment.
Leslie’s letters home to his parents and to his brother Gordon are full of the excitement of a young man barely out of his teens who found himself caught up in the comraderie and friendship known only to men who endure common hardship and deprivation. “More power to your elbow”, he wrote in pencil on a scrap of paper to his brother Gordon, not yet a Minister of the Church of Ireland, from somewhere in France just eight days before he died. The letter dated Saturday 8th May was enclosed in an envelope postmarked 9th May 1915, and it may have reached his brother Gordon before 20 year old Leslie was killed in action in Festubert on the 16th of May 1915. The line, “Remember me to all the lads”, written across the side of the one page letter, strikes a poignant note even now after the lapse of 80 years.
Source: This piece was taken from a blog called 'Athy Eye on the Past'. To read the full, very touching article, follow this link:


Irish Life Magazine: 29 September 1916

Second Lieutenant N.L. Hannon, 7th King’s Liverpool Regiment, youngest son of Mr. John A. Hannon, Ardreigh House, Athy, killed in action at Festubert, 16th May,1915. Lieutenant Leslie Hannon was educated at Clarinda Park School Kingstown, and at the High School Dublin, where he was captain of the cricket XI for two years. He entered T.C.D. in 1913, and was a Classical Honourman. He
was one of the first to receive his commission through the D.U.O.T.C. in August, 1914.

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