Hanna, William John (No. 8540)

Hanna, William John (William)


No. 8540, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Sunday 9 May 1915 (aged 30)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium (Panel 9)

Glastry Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Portaferry Presbyterian Church


William John Hanna was born on 31 July 1884 in the townland of Ratalla, Cloughey and he was a son of Margaret Hanna who lived in the townland of Ballyeasborough.

Margaret Hanna worked as a seamstress and William worked as a seaman and a farm servant before he joined the Army.

William Hanna and Margaret (Maggie) Smyth were married on 3 August 1909 in Glastry Presbyterian Church and they lived in Shore Street Portaferry.  William Hanna from Kircubbin was a seaman.  Maggie Smyth, a minor from Portaferry was a daughter of Frank Smyth, a gardener.

William and Maggie Hanna (nee Smyth) had at least three children:

Gladys Henrietta (born 20 August 1910 in Shuttle Row, Newtownards)

May Delia (born 24 February 1912 in East Street, Newtownards)

Francis Kitchener (born 13 October 1914 in Shore Street, Portaferry; baptised three days later in Portaferry Presbyterian Church.

William Hanna served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and at one point he was hospitalised for eight weeks after being wounded in action in France.  He returned to the Western Front and was 30 when he was killed in action at Rouge Bancs on 9 May 1915.

Sergeant William Hanna has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium; in Glastry Presbyterian Church and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Portaferry Presbyterian Church.