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.


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