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Frank Hanna

Career : 1913 - 1914
Debut : Round 16, 1913 vs Richmond
Carlton Player No. 285
Games : 3
Goals : 1
Last Game : Round 3, 1914 vs University
Guernsey Nos : 30
Height : 174 cm (5 ft. 8 in.)
Weight : 71 kg (11 stone, 2 lbs.)
DOB : 1893

A bustling, determined, dark-haired rover from North Melbourne in the VFA, Frank Hanna was seen as a potential back-up for Carlton’s star Viv Valentine when he was recruited by the Blues in 1913, but never quite adapted to the pace of VFL football. He was born in Ascot Vale.

Hanna’s first senior match came at Princes Park in August 1913, when Blues captain-coach Jack Wells played him in a back pocket in Carlton’s 12 point victory over Richmond. He wasn’t considered the following week, but a spate of injuries soon provided him with a second opportunity - against Fitzroy at the MCG in the last game of the season. Although the Maroons beat the Blues by four goals in a scrappy contest, Hanna showed that he was more comfortable – and more effective - running on the ball and resting up forward.

When the 1914 VFL season began, there was already deep concern over the looming threat of war in Europe. Carlton started poorly with a draw against Collingwood and a 13 point loss to St Kilda. Hanna was recalled again for the round 3 match against strugglers University at the MCG in May, but was rarely sighted – even though the final margin was 70 points in favour of the Blues.

Perhaps afterward realising that his ambition outstripped his ability, Frank didn’t play football at elite level again. In August 1914, Great Britain and most of the Commonwealth declared war on Germany, and World War 1 began. Frank volunteered to fight in February 1916, training as an artillery gunner.

By early 1917, as the bloodiest fighting of the war claimed thousands of casualties on both sides, Hanna was heavily involved as part of a heavy howitzer battery supporting the Allied forces on the Western Front. Later, he was transferred to a Motor Transport Company and promoted Sergeant. In October 1918, he suffered burns to both hands in a refuelling accident. He was still undergoing hospital treatment in England when, on November 11, 1918, a beaten Germany signed the Armistice that brought an end to the slaughter at last.

Unlike so many of his comrades, Frank Hanna survived the war, and returned home to his family relatively unscathed. He enjoyed a long life, and passed away in June, 1967 at the age of 74.

Blueseum: Summary of playing statistics for Frank Hanna | Hanna's Blueseum Image Gallery

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