Nanette Hanson AM

b. 1941 Bradford, Yorkshire.  d. 01/11/1967 Dundee, Scotland.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 01/11/1967 St John’s School, Dundee, Scotland.

Nanette Hanson AM

Nanette was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the daughter of George and Mary Hall, and they grew up living next door to another recipient of the Albert Medal – Horace Cannon. In May 1967 she married Guy Hanson in Bradford, and they moved to Dundee, where Nanette had a new job teaching at St John’s. She had been married six months and just announced she was expecting a baby when the incident occurred. The soldier, Robert Mone, aged 19, wanted revenge on the school that had expelled him three years before.

He dressed in his Gordon Highlanders uniform, armed himself with a shotgun, stuffed his pockets with cartridges and stalked into the school. He was persuaded to show mercy by Nanette and an acquaintance of his, 18-year-old nurse Marion Young, who bravely went into the classroom to talk to him. As the girls were released, he kept Nanette behind. After telling her to turn round because he didn’t have the courage to look her in the face as he killed her, he shot her in the back at point-blank range.

The headmaster of the Marist Brothers school, Brother Bede, said after the tragedy: “Nanette is a heroine, a martyr who died for these children. It was due to her courage that a worse tragedy didn’t follow.” Nearly 300 people packed the church in Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire, for Nanette’s funeral. Brother Bede and four of his staff attended the service, as did Marion Young.

Mone was never convicted of Nanette’s murder. He was found insane and unfit to plead and sent to Carstairs. Nine years later, he and fellow-inmate Thomas McCulloch escaped from the hospital and went on their bloody rampage. They killed three people before being apprehended and being sent to prison for life.



Mrs. Hanson was taking a needlework class of twelve girls at St. John’s School when a soldier, armed with a shot gun, entered the classroom, ordered her and the girls to barricade the doors, and then herded them into a small fitting room which adjoined. During the period that followed the man fired several blasts from the shot gun at the classroom door, on the other side of which the headmaster and members of the staff had gathered. Mrs. Hanson was then brought out of the fitting room and showing complete calm, engaged the man in conversation, during which he expressed a wish to see a young nurse and agreed that if she could be brought the children would be set free. Mrs. Hanson persuaded those outside to leave her to handle the situation; this despite the fact that the soldier had already once attempted to shoot her at point blank range and would have done so had the gun not misfired. The nurse had meanwhile been brought to the school, and quite voluntarily entered the room in an attempt to pacify the man and secure the release of the girls. This was eventually accomplished through the joint efforts of Mrs. Hanson and the nurse who were then left alone in the room with the man trying to persuade him to give himself up. Before he did so, however, he shot Mrs. Hanson in the back killing her immediately.