Crack Hardy – Searle Brothers in WW1

Susannah Dando (nee Hapgood) married Edward Dando and emigrated to Australia in 1853. She had 5 children, including Elizabeth Annie b1856. Susannah died in 1861. Her husband Edward Dando remarried and the whole family moved to Westbury Tasmania (see previous post ).

Susannah and Edward’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth Annie Dando (there is also a tiny tiny photo of Elizabeth Annie here) married George Searle in Westbury in 1885. According to Crack Hardy [1] she was not particularly fond of him ….

Elizabeth Annie Dando and her Husband George Searle. Still from 730 Report Youtube video about Crack Hardy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWewsETjEcM

Their three sons – Ned, Viv and Ray Searle – all service in World War 1, including 2 sons in Gallipoli and the Somme. Only Ned made it back home…. The story of the Searle brothers has been written up by their great nephew, Stephen Dando Collins, in his 2012 book “Crack Hardy”

Crack Hardy: From Gallipoli to Flanders to the Somme, The True Story of Three Australian Brothers at War by Stephen Dando-Collins Published: 2 April 2012 ISBN: 9781742755731

Cover of “Crack Hardy” by Stephen Dando-Collins.

The book was written based on their letters and diary, as well as family stories and WW1 records. The book is a compelling read ( whether or not you are related) and a unflinching history of the three brothers and the family during WW1, and all the pride and horrors and family dynamics that were part of the family story.

There are no photos in the paperback version, but there is a terrific 730 story on the book which includes all sorts of family photos and memoribilia. Worth a watch and also a read of the book…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWewsETjEcM

730 report story on Crack Hardy, including interviews with the author and descendants of Susannah Hapgood and Edward Dando.

Oct 2020 update: Stephen Dando Collins was interviewed on ABC Tasmania on 24 April 2020 for ANZAC day about the Searle Brothers. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/tas-country-hour/crack-hardy/12182240

If the link above is no longer working, I downloaded the audio and you can listen to it here:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/tas-country-hour/crack-hardy/12182240

[1] Crack Hardy: From Gallipoli to Flanders to the Somme, The True Story of Three Australian Brothers at War by Stephen Dando-Collins Published: 2 April 2012 ISBN: 9781742755731

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