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Maxie Hanlon, Army major: A career soldier honoured with MBE

Published 28/06/2013

Maxie Hanlon
Maxie Hanlon

Retired soldier Maxwell Ivan (Maxie) Hanlon, who has died two days short of his 60th birthday, spent 36 years in uniform, rising to the rank of major in the Royal Irish Regiment.

Maxie, who originally enlisted in the old Ulster Defence Regiment as a part-timer in 1972 when he was 19, joined up full-time a few months later and then had a long career in the Royal Irish.

Down the years he was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, was mentioned in despatches and received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service.

Maxie, a native of The Largy in south Antrim, retired from the regiment in 2008. He was awarded an MBE following a tour of duty with the United Nations in Georgia.

"He loved the military life, after being a member of 1st Crumlin Company of the Boys' Brigade," said his widow Catherine (Kay), whom he met when they were young Sunday school teachers at St Catherine's Parish Church, Aldergrove, where they grew up.

Maxie and Kay (nee Golden) married in 1975 at St Catherine's and she survives him with their two sons, Ivan and Neil, daughter Emma and four grandchildren.

Maxie was educated at Gortnagallon PE School and Antrim Tech. He began his working life as an engineer's clerk with the former Northern Ireland Electricity Board, before he joined the newly-formed UDR.

The funeral service for Maxwell Hanlon was conducted in Jude's Parish Church, Muckamore, by the rector, the Rev William Orr.

He was buried in Belmont Cemetery in Antrim town.

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