The Hanham Family

All the Hanham children were born in Graveney, Kent where their father, The Reverend Abdiel Hanham, had his parish. They lived there until his death in 1908 whereupon they moved to Kensington in London. They remained in Kensington until 1913 when they moved to Amesbury Avenue in Streatham.

A loving and well educated family their letters to one another are heartfelt and deeply sincere. The Hanham girls grew up into beautiful women and the boys athletic, handsome men. The Hanham children had a great deal in common, not least their love for each other and bright piercing eyes either hazel or blue.

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Kathleen Muriel Hanham

Kathleen was the eldest of the Hanham children. As an actress, dancer and singer before and during the First World War she was ahead of her time. Strong and independent she exuded compassion and always held her family close to her heart. She was the beating heart of the family soon ravaged by war, her character and fortitude are testament to those left behind while the conflict raged overseas.

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Stuart Aubrey Hanham

Stuart was the second of the Hanham children and the oldest of the three sons. When his father, The Reverend Abdiel Hanham, died in 1908 he became patriarch of the family. Stuart was a ‘Territorial’ with The Kensington Battalion from 1911 and was intelligent, kind, determined and loved by all. He was studying to be a solicitor when war was declared but immediately postponed his studies to fight overseas.

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Stella Blanche hanham

Stella was the second daughter of Eva and Abdiel Hanham and the middle of their five children. Like Kathleen she was artistic and free spirited and her love for family never ending. In 1910 she married a young musician named Frank White and left the family home to live with her new husband in the fashionable quarters of London. Frank played trumpet for the Band of The Coldstream Guards throughout the war to raise money for the fighting over the sea.

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Eric Abdiel Hanham

Eric was the fourth child and middle son, he was carefree and fun loving and his humorous nature is clear in all of his writing. He was a talented artist who enjoyed drawing landscapes and a skilled craftsman who liked making intricate objects from wood. Eric was not a member of the Kensington Battalion before the war but, unwilling to miss the adventure, he leapt at the chance to serve overseas. When war was declared he immediately signed up to fight with his brothers in the Kensington Battalion.


Basil Algernon Hanham

Basil was the youngest of the Hanham siblings and was quite sickly as a young boy but, determined as always, he joined the Kensington Battalion as a ‘Territorial’ in 1912 when just eighteen. He and Eric were very close in age, only fifteen months apart, so shared a special friendship which is apparent in all of their correspondence with each other. Intelligent and kind Basil was closest to their mother Eva with whom he shared an almost spiritual bond.


Evangeline Gertrude Hanham

When her husband Abdiel died in 1908 Eva moved her family to Kensington in London where they thrived. Born in Inverness in Scotland she was a tough, stubborn woman but she was loving and affectionate too. She cared deeply for her children and with Basil especially she had an emotional connection beyond explanation. Eva was intelligent and witty, a classic early 20th century matriarch. She loved literature and the arts.

Through the novel characters come and go, some are the names of real people and others are fictional characters introduced by the author to help tell the Hanham story. It is important to note however that everything that happened to the boys during the conflict is as hauntingly accurate as it can possibly be.
— Andrew Wood

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