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Amended 18.5.2011. Minor edits 17.2.2014.

1334, Private Christopher Edward HANLON — 13th Light Dragoons

Also recorded as "Handlon"

Birth & early life

Born the parish of St. Michael's, Dublin, c.1827.


Enlisted at Dublin on the 17th of June 1847.

Age: 20.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: Servant.

Features: Fair complexion. Hazel eyes. Brown hair.


He was shown on the Regtl. "Married roll" from the 7th of October 1848. His wife's name was Mary.

1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South Midlothian.

Christopher Hanlon, 25, soldier, born Kildaw, Ireland.

Mary Hanlon, 29, born Wicklow, Ireland,

Edward Hanlon, 1, born Ireland [sic].

At Scutari General Depot from the 14th of September 1854 and sent to rejoin the regiment in the Crimea on the 3rd of October.

Rode in the Charge at Balaclava on 25th October 1854, when he was severely wounded in the neck by a lance and a rifle bullet passing through his clothing across his breast passed out through his bridle arm. He was taken prisoner of war by the Russians and detained for a year until exchanged on the 26th of October 1855.

He was shown on a nominal roll of men of the Regiment made out at the Cavalry Depot, Scutari on the 9th of November 1855 as being a prisoner of war there from the 4th of November.

Tried by a Garrison Court-martial at Scutari on the 10th of November 1855 for "having been taken a prisoner of war at Balaclava during the Charge of the Light Brigade — of which he was honourably acquitted." "Received nine wounds."

"Horse Guards,

16 November 1856.

Sir, — I am directed to request that you will be pleased to report by return of post, whether Christopher Edward Handlon [sic] is still effective in the 13th Light Dragoons and if not, at what date and under what circumstances he became non-effective and if released, what was his intended place of abode.

I have the honour, etc. etc.

John W. Reynolds, DAG."

1861 Census

Road Edinburgh to Portobello, Cranstons Land [sic], Leith South Midlothian.

Christopher Hanlon, 34, Private 13 LD, born Ireland.

Mary Hanlon, 41, Laundress, born Ireland.

Edward Hanlon, 11, scholar, born England [sic].

Thomas Hanlon, 9, scholar, born Ireland.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Leeds on the 1st of August 1871, "Free, at own request, after 24 years' service."

Served 24 years 26 days. In Turkey and the Crimea, 2 years. Canada, 2 years 10 months.

Six times entered in the Regtl. Defaulter's book. Once tried by Court-martial.

Aged 44 years on discharge. Awarded a pension of 11d. per day.

Conduct: "very good." In possession of three Good Conduct badges.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Balaclava, Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.

Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with clasps for Balaclava and Sebastopol, the Turkish Medal, and the Long Service & Good Conduct medal.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal on the 2nd of October 1870.


Life after service

To live in King Street, Toronto, Canada, but he was living in Montreal from the 10th of April 1872 and again in Toronto from the 1st of January 1873.

A letter was sent to him (of an unknown date) regarding an increase in pension or possible In-Pension and to apply to the Kilmainham Hospital, "if prepared to pay his own way from Canada".

1881 Census Canada

[RM: The 1881 Canadian Census shows him as Edward Hanlon, aged 51 and born in Ireland. He was a servant in the household of Samuel Richardson, a Hotel Keeper in the St Andrew's Ward of Toronto, Canada.

Admitted to In-Pension at Kilmainham on the 1st of June 1889.

The Admission records of In-Pensioner applications of the Royal Hospital, although showing much of what is already known, also show that he was aged 62 at this time, his medical examination showed that he was suffering from "Debility and defective sight, is quite unfit for any kind of labour", that he was a widower with two sons, Edward and Thomas, the former being a Troop Sgt. Major in the 13th Hussars [PB: not so — see below] and the latter (presumably) living in Toronto, the Pension District in which he was last paid was Toronto, his character at this time being "very good", and his address at the time of the application was c/o Mr. N. Brien, Chapel Hill, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow.

Death & burial

Died at Kilmainham on the 15th of February 1890.

Next of kin: Wife, Mary Hanlon. He was shown on the Regtl. "Married roll" from the 7th of October 1848, but there were no children shown in the family at the time of his discharge.

His death certificate shows that he died at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, South Dublin, from "Pyomea, 10 days." [PB: Pyomea?] He was then 63 years of age, a widower and Army pensioner.

He was buried in the Kilmainham Hospital Cemetery (Bully's Acre section) on the 17th of February 1890 in Grave No. 117. No headstone was erected although his grave space probably originally had a numbered cast iron "marker", but these have all been removed for easier maintenance. His name is on one of the brass tablets commemorating ex-Hospital inmates in the Chapel.

Further information

He [?] had exaggerated in his son's rank in the 13th Light Dragoons as he never rose above Saddler Sgt. Born at Dundalk, Louth, Edward Hanlon had enlisted into the 13th Light Dragoons at Aldershot as No. 683 on the 2nd of October 1863 for a term of sixteen years. His physical description was given as 5' 2" in height, fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. Then aged 14 years, he was "under age" (15 years) until the 2nd of October 1864.

He was appointed Saddler on the 1st of December 1876, re-engaged for to complete 21 years' service on the 23rd of May 1878 and to L/Cpl. on the 28th of February 1880. After being promoted to Saddler Sergeant on the 1st of December 1880, he was "In confinement", awaiting trial on the 1st of October 1882, sentenced to be reduced to Corporal, but this sentence was remitted.

He was again "In confinement awaiting trial" on the 5th of February, being sentenced by a Court-martial to be reduced to Pte. on the 11th of December. He was discharged from the Canterbury Cavalry Depot on the 9th of January 1883 "in consequence of his being reduced from Saddler Sgt".

His total service towards pension was 19 years 90 days, and he had served in Canada and the East Indies for a total of 11 years 359 days. His conduct and character was "Only fair". and his next-of-kin was shown as his father, Christopher, and brother, Thomas, but no addresses were given for them.

References & acknowledgements

Census information for 1851 and 1861 kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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