Topic: Edward Hanson

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Edward Hanson (Service No. 8/920) was a First World War soldier with links to Upper Riccarton

Edward Hanson was born on the 9th of January, 1876, in Upper Riccarton. He was the youngest child of Mary and John Edward Hanson who lived above their store on the corner of Hansons Lane (at the time it was called Hansons Road), opposite the Bush Inn.

Edward attended Riccarton School, which opened in 1873, with his 4 siblings, Harry, Joseph, Ada and Frances. Harry is the oldest child and was born on the 30th of October 1865. Joseph is the second oldest and was born on the 15th June 1867. Ada is the middle child and was born on the 26th of December 1869. Frances is the second youngest and was born on the 8th of December 1871.

John’s (Edward’s father) store, The Hanson general store, was very successful and he had a massive influence on the construction of Riccarton School, which opened when Harry was 6. John also did a lot of charity work and was held in high regard in the community.

The Hanson General Store was built in 1869. The store started off small, however it quickly flourished, turning into a well known icon of the close knit community. The Hansons began to post ads in the local papers, helping to promote the store even further, especially to nearby neighbourhoods. On the right is a photo of one of the many ads posted in the SouthlandTimes.

Unfortunately the store and subsequently the Hanson’s Family home, caught fire on Saturday the 29th June, 1940, burning the building to the ground, leaving only the solid brick walls, as shown in the photo below.

At the time the store was being renovated and improved, which allowed the flames to spread easily, with speed. The building was unable to be saved and was left uninhabitable.

Pictured to the left is John Edward Hanson (Edward Hanson’s father), founder of Hanson's General Store. John was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1840. When he was 23, he departed from Yorkshire, London, on the ship Brothers pride. He began his journey on the 25th July, 1863, and arrived in Lyttelton, Christchurch on the 10th December, 1863. A couple of years after arriving in Christchurch, on May the 17th, 1865 John married Mary Hare. John Edward Hanson passed away on the 17th of November 1920 at the age of 80.

Joseph and Edward both chose to go to the second Boer War while living in Auckland. During this war, Joseph was discharged and Edward was reported missing. Edward and Joseph both received The King's Medal, with 2 clasps, on October the 2nd for fighting in the Second Boer War. Although Harry was a member of the First Canterbury Mounted Corps, he chose not to go to the Second Boer War, as conscription wasn’t in place at the time. Edward also fought in the First World War as a private, joining the 10th Company, 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, in Christchurch on the 25th of August 1914. Due to the fact that the cut off age for signing up for WW1 was 40, Edward was the only child in the Hanson family young enough to go to the war.

At the time when Edward Hanson enlisted for the First World War, he weighed 167 pounds and was 5 foot 11 inches tall. He had fair hair and complexion and his eyes were steel blue. By faith, he was an anglican/belonged to the Church Of England. His last listed occupation was as a self-employed farrier/blacksmith. He also contributed his time to the family's store.

During the first world war, Edward left with the New Zealand forces, travelling to Gallipoli where he was wounded. While recovering, he went to France and was again wounded, this time in the battle of the Aisne. After this he travelled into Belgium and fought in the Passchendaele battle, which he unfortunately didn’t survive, passing away on the 12th of October 1917.

Edward Hanson is memorialised at the Tyne Cot Memorial, in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, as well as in the Upper Riccarton Memorial Library Plaque. He is also mentioned on his brother, Harry’s, headstone at St Peter’s Anglican Churchyard at Church Corner.

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Edward Hanson


First Names:Edward
Last Name:Hanson
Place of Birth:Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand