John Hannan
John Hannan was my wife's maternal grandfather. A regular soldier before WW1, he served 10 years in India. His unit, the 1st Gordon Highlanders, was rushed to France in 1914. He took part in the bitter battles of Mons, Le Cateau, 1st Marne, Aisne, La Bassť, and 1st Ypres, during which he was knocked unconscious in hand-to-hand combat and taken prisoner. He spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Germany. There he taught himself German and escaped three times but each time was recaptured after days at liberty. 'Daidy', as he was affectionately known to his family, was an extremely active man. Still salmon fishing in the Scottish Highland's swift rivers well into his eighties, he died in his nineties in 1976.

In this photograph of his medals I placed his 1914 Star rosette on his medal ribbon as the actual Bar is missing. This was really due to a fault in design which led to the loss of many of these Bars. Taprell Darling says "The Bar is of the same metal as the Star, and is of simple design with the inscription '5th AUG.-22ND NOV. 1914' on a frosted ground. It is not fitted to slide over the ribbon in the customary manner; but has four small holes pierced at the corners for sewing to the ribbon, a somewhat clumsy expedient which might result in accidental loss".

Peter Ghiringhelli

See  Diary of the 1st Gordon Higlanders 1914