James Calhoun, a correspondent from Canada with an interest in James Hanley, has answered my speculation about Hanley’s possibly being kept away from the front line because of his extreme youth. He writes:
I also imagine his size was a factor. Hanley was only 5’2”. Or, to put it another way, the exact same height as a No.1 Mk.3 Lee Enfield with the bayonet attached… I can’t imagine him being loaded down with 60-80lbs worth of equipment on too many operations.
Isaac Rosenberg was a similar height; he belonged to the Bantams, a battalion specifically for men under 5’3″.
I find James’s image of these men, almost overshadowed by their weapons, a striking and touching one.