William John Whan was born in Cookstown, he was the son of Robert Whan, later of Straits, Lurgan Road, Banbridge, County Down and the grandson of William Whan of Cookstown, County Tyrone. William enlisted in the Scots Guards in Glasgow, while he was living and working there. He was originally reported as missing in action and has no known grave.
William John Whan was the son of Robert and Mary Jane Whan (nee McKernan). William was born in Cookstown on 7th January 1892.
The spelling of the surname changes from Whann to Whan (and sometimes Wann) throughout. For simplicity, it has been decided to use the CWGC spelling of Whan.
The 1901 census records that the family lived at Coolreaghs in Lissan Lower, Tyrone. Coolreaghs lies just north of Cookstown. William was nine years old. His father was a labourer. His mother was a washerwoman. Both daughter and adopted daughter assisted their mother.
The 1911 census shows the family still lived in Coolreaghs. William and his father both worked as farm labourers.
Family: Robert Whan, Mary Jane Whan, Emily Whann (born about 1886), Edith Johnston (adopted, born about 1886), Lizzie Whann (born about 1889), William James Whann (born 7th January 1892), Thomas Whan (born 26th October 1901), Herbert Whan (born 25th March 1907).
William enlisted in the Scots Guards in Glasgow, while he was living and working there.
By 1916 the family had moved to Banbridge.
Private Whan was serving with C Company, 12th Platoon of the 1st Battalion of the Scots Guards, C Company, 12th Platoon, when he was reported as missing in action after the Battle of Loos on 27th September 1915. He was later recorded as been killed in action on that day. He was 23 years old.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 26th February 1916
Private W J Whann (11030) 1st Battalion Scots Guards, C Company, 12th Platoon, missing since 27th September 1915, after the battle of Loos, son of Mr Robert Whann, Banbridge, and grandson of the late Mr William Whann, Cookstown.
Private William John Whan and has no known grave and is commemorated on the on Loos Memorial in France.
Private William Wann is also commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and First Presbyterian Cookstown Roll of Honour.
The CWGC record Private Wann as the son of Robert Whan, of Straits, Lurgan Road, Banbridge, Co. Down.