Joseph HANN

HANN, Joseph

Service Number: 1607
Enlisted: 20 September 1915, Holsworthy, New South Wales
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 2nd Remount Unit
Born: Grafton, New South Wales, 4 August 1862
Home Town: Grafton, Clarence Valley, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Butcher
Died: Natural causes, Ashfield, New South Wales , 8 October 1929, aged 67 years
Cemetery: Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, New South Wales
C of E section
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World War 1 Service

20 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1607, Holsworthy, New South Wales
10 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, 1607, 2nd Australian Remount Unit, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Trooper, 1607, 2nd Australian Remount Unit, HMAT Orsova, Sydney
17 Jun 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Trooper, 1607, 2nd Remount Unit

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Biography contributed by Tracy Rockwell

Joseph Hann Jnr. (Reg. #1607) enlisted in the AIF on the 20th September 1915 at Holsworthy Army Base. He registered himself as being 49 years of age (but was in fact 53), was working as a ‘Butcher’, and gave his address as Fletcher Street, Bondi. He was 5’ 7” tall, 13 stone, 8lb (86kg), brown eyes, dark complexion with black hair, was a C of E, and his next of kin was listed as Jane Hann (wife). He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 2nd Remount Unit, whose task was to support the Light Horse Units in Egypt. Descended from the pioneers of Grafton, Joseph was living at Fletcher St, Bondi with his wife and first cousin Mary Jane Rodgers when he enlisted. He embarked on 10th November 1915 from Sydney on HMAT Orsova A67. In Egypt, the 2nd Remounts had four Squadrons and all appear to have been based between Zeitoum and Maadi in Egypt during late 1915 and early 1916. All men were between 18 to 70 years of age, with most soldiers being over 40.

The distinguished reputation of Australian horses in the Sinai and Palestine campaigns was in no small part due to the work of the remount units, which were responsible for their training. When the Light Horse left for Gallipoli in 1915, they left behind detachments to take care of the horses. To free these men to rejoin their regiments, two remount units were formed in September 1915, each of four squadrons. The maximum age for enlistment was set at 50, and the units contained a high proportion of Boer War veterans and expert horsemen. By the time they arrived in Egypt however, the evacuation of Gallipoli was imminent. Accordingly, at the end of March 1916 the units were reduced by half, each contributing two squadrons to a single remount unit. Later in the year, the unit was further reduced to two squadrons, and became the Remount Depot. Although based in Egypt, in late 1917 the depot delivered remounts to the Palestine front by driving them across the Sinai Overlanders-style in order to save scarce rail transport, and so is credited with participation in the Palestine campaign. 

Both Remount Regiments were disbanded in 1916 and the remaining soldiers formed the ARU (Australian Remount Unit). This had at first four Sqns, but was later reduced down to two Sqns. The ARU had a base Sqn and a field Sqn which moved between bases as the war went on and we took more towns. These were based between Heliopolis, Moascar, Belah and Hejail. There is no known book on the Remounts during the war, but there was some work written in Banjo Patterson’s papers, he commanded one of these Sqn’s. General Chauvel’s brother commanded another Sqn.

Joseph was returned to Australia on 29th April 1916 aboard ‘HT Seeang Bee’ and arrived in Sydney on the 31st May 1916. His Unit was disbanded, marked ‘Services No Longer Required’, and he was discharged on the 17th June 1916. He later received the 1914/15 Star (#24343), the British War Medal (#24933) and the Victory Medal (#24697).