Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
11030   Private William John Whann
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 17/12/2022
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Scots Guards (British Army)
Died: 27/09/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
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.
Private William John Whann
Further Information
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.
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).
Prior to the war, William was living in Coatbridge, east of Glasgow.
Williamís friend was Samuel Falls. The two men from Cookstown lived next to each other in Coatbridge, worked together, were in the same Orange Lodge, enlisted in the same regiment together and they both fell together on the same day.
William was a member of Loyal Orange Lodge 133, Coatbridge District 22.
William enlisted in the Scots Guards in Glasgow.
Private William John Whann
Medal card
Private William Whann arrived in France on 4th May 1915.
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
Newspaper Report
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.
Pension record (did not claim)
Private William John Whan and has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France.
Panel 9 of the Loos Memorial (upper)
Private William Whann is commemorated in Scotland on the Gartsherrie Works Roll of Honour.
Gartsherrie Works Roll of Honour
Private William Whann is also commemorated on the Loyal Orange Lodge 133, Coatbridge District 22 Roll of Honour.
L.O.L. 133 Coatbridge District 22 Roll of Honour.
Private William Whann is also commemorated on the Maxwell Parish Church Roll of Honour.
Maxwell Parish Church Roll of Honour, Coatbridge
Private William Wann is also commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and First Presbyterian Cookstown Roll of Honour.
The CWGC record Private William John Whan as the son of Robert Whan of Straits, Lurgan Road, Banbridge, County. Down.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Coolreaghs Cookstown North Census listing in Coolreaghs 54.663901 -6.762101
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Coatbridge and the Great War Detailed information on Private†William John†Whann
2 1901 Census lists Whann family 1901 census lists William James Whann as age 9 at house 6 in Coolreaghs, Lissan.
3 1911 Census lists Wann family 1911 census lists William Wann as age 19 at house 1 in Coolreaghs, Lissan.
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
5 Private Joseph Taylor Joseph's future wife lived with the Whann family
6 Private Samuel Falls Friend of Private Robert Whann
7 Soldiers Died in the Great War Details of Private William John Whan
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2023