William Whelan

By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT – Own work, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16404419

On Christmas Day 1918, just weeks after the armistice, a Rhyl soldier wrote graffiti in the attic of Floreffe Abbey, Belgium.

Can the graffiti reveal history to us almost one hundred years later?

photo credit: B. Sebille

The soldier’s name, as you can see from the image, was William Whelan.  You will also be able to make out that he served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and Machine Gun Corps.

After an enquiry from Belgium last week we have carried out some research.  Records at Flintshire Archives show that William Whelan lived at 3, William Street, Rhyl. A census search shows that in 1911 William and his family were living at 30, Vale Road.

image by permission: Find my Past

Click on the image to discover more about William.

We think that this is William’s son (also William aka Willie) pictured in the second photograph of our previous post “Look, Duck and Vanish”

Do you know more about William Whelan?  It would be great to piece together his story and to know what he was doing in the attic of Floreffe Abbey, Belgium on Christmas Day, 1918.  Please comment below or e-mail us at rhylhistoryclub@gmail.com





Filed under Military

2 responses to “William Whelan

  1. ola66

    Great find, thank you for posting………..luckily the rest of the graffiti was suitable for your readers!

  2. We have received more information from our friend in Belgium. William’s Battalion were marching en route to Troisdorf on the Rhine, Germany when they stopped in Floreffe from December 19th – 31st. Whilst they were there they carried out recreational and educational training and went to midnight mass in the Abbey. (information obtained from official war diaries.)

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