Sir Richard Hannay

Real Name

Major-General Sir Richard Hannay, KCB, DSO

First Appearance

The Thirty-Nine Steps (Novel, 1915)

Original Publisher

Created by

John Buchan


Major-General Sir Richard Hannay, KCB, DSO - A Scottish man who served as a soldier, spy and officer for the British Empire. Born around 1877, he joined his father in South Africa when he was six years old. When he grew up, he became a mining engineer, spending three years prospecting for copper in German Damaraland and making a small fortune in Bulawayo. He took part in the Matabele Wars and was an intelligence officer at Delagoa Bay in the Boer war. When the first world war broke out, he immediately joined the New Army as a captain. He suffered wounds to the leg and neck in the Battle of Loos in September 1915, by which time he had reached the rank of major. Later, he reutrned to regular service in the army and was rapidly promoted to brigadier-general. In early 1917, he was called to operate as an agent of the secret service. Hannay was a patriot of the Empire, stating "Perhaps the Scots are better than the English, but we're all a thousand percent better than anybody else." He was strong, tough, gutsy, and always longing to prove himself. He was sometimes too sportsman-like for his own good. However, he was also modest and had great respect for his enemies. He spoke fluent German.

Supporting Cast

Mary Lamington: A beautiful and highly intelligent nurse and fellow spy who fell in love with Hannay and eventually married him. [Mr Standfast by John Buchan] (1919)

John Scantlebury Blenkiron: A dyspeptic American secret service agent who was a friend of Hannay and assisted him on a few missions. [Greenmantle by John Buchan] (1916)

Launcelot Wake: A cousin of Mary Lamington. He is a conscientious objector who assisted Hannay. He later died from a gunshot wound. [Mr Standfast by John Buchan] (1919)


  • Richard Hannay was probably one of the characters that inspired James Bond.

Golden Age Comic Appearances

Stories by Famous Authors Illustrated #4

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