This site began on 12th August 2009.

I have had an interest in The Somme Battlefields since 1985 and continue to visit and research each year (COVID-19 permitting!).

However, this site has also developed into a place to centralise and publish some of my family war history including and far beyond Northern France.

There is the compelling story my Grandfather, Malcolm Hancock, who had the most extraordinary experiences in both Great Wars. He fought at Gallipoli, winning an MC two days after landing, and went on, in WW2, to serve in the Coats Mission, Auxiliary Units, The Holding Battalions serving at Chequers and finally as a Welfare Officer in Berlin, 1945.

And then there are the tales of his four Australian cousins from the Parkes family, who fought on the Western Front and Gallipoli, two of whom did not get to go home. I have followed their stories as far as I can, particularly Spencer who is named on the Menin Gate after falling at 3rd Ypres, and Sidney Ernest who fell in Gallipoli.

And then there’s my paternal Grandfather, Eric Walter Hare, who went to sea in WW1, underage, and who ensured my existence by becoming ill and being sent home before his ship was sunk. He then spent time in WW2 interned by the Japanese before repatriation, an area I have recently discovered more about.

And more recently, I have uncovered details about John Michael Byran’s (my Great Uncle) distinguished career in the RAF as a Typhoon Wing Commander. It is extraordinary to think that he died at the age of 22 with such a high level of leadership and charisma.

I have included their stories as far as I have researched them.

These people make me feel very humble.

This website is an ongoing project.

Richard Hancock


3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Richard. My name is Paul Hancock and I’ve been researching all Hancock gallantry awarded during the 1st WW, this is how I found your great page. Were you aware that your grandfather Malcolm was also Mentioned in Dispatches (MID’d) LG date 13/7/16. Regards Paul.

  2. Hi Richard, No specifics of award I’m afraid. Just the LG date (13/7/16) and page (6949). The dispatch was published on the 10th of April (LG No 29541) by General Sir Charles Monro command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

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