The bantamspast research department, in the shape of Chris Ambler, has been busy trying to find out whether the Crystal Palace website claim that our former player Harry Hanger died during the Great War is correct. The facts are inconclusive, but we are inclined to believe that the Harry Hanger who was killed in the conflict wasn’t the player who appeared for City between 1906-09.
City secured the signature of left half Harry Hanger from Kettering on 12 April 1906. The burly 5’ 9” centre half played 79 games for City, scoring 4 goals. In all but one of those games he played at left half (no.6), but did switch to right half for one game. After three years at Valley Parade Harry transferred to Crystal Palace. The Bradford Daily Argus reported on 17 May 1909 that he had signed for Southern League side Crystal Palace. In Terry Frost’s excellent Bradford City, The Complete Record book it states that Harry signed for Northampton, indeed, the Daily Argus had reported on 3 May 1909 that Harry and Frank Whittaker had signed for Northampton, but the report of 17 May appears to supersede the earlier story. Indeed, Harry did play 178 games for Palace, scoring 8 goals.
During the Great War on 19 January 1915 the Bradford Daily Argus reported: ‘H. Hanger, now of Crystal Palace, has enlisted in the Football Battalion.’ The Harry Hanger the Crystal Palace website refers to was killed whilst serving with the Household Cavalry. The British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards show that the Hanger who was in the Household Cavalry enlisted on 6 October 1914. He was born at Market Harborough in Leicestershire, whilst Harry Hanger the footballer was born at Kettering.
So, it appears that the Harry Hanger who was killed whilst serving with the Household Cavalry was not the Harry Hanger who played for City and Palace. Though we are happy to be proved otherwise, for the time being we are not adding Harry to the nine City players killed in the Great War.
Our thanks to Chris Ambler for the hours put in researching the above at Bradford Central Library.
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